Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 29.12.2017
Ukrainian armed forces shot down a Russian armed forces Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicle near Toretsk in Donetsk region, Ukraine on December 28. Russia has been using unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance since it began its invasion of Europe in Ukraine on 20 February 2014. The use of advanced drones is undeniable proof that the “war in Ukraine” is in fact a war by Russia against Ukraine. Each Russian drone that is shot down or crashes in free Ukraine territory provides incontrovertible proof of Russia’s direct instigation, participation, and guidance of the war. A Russian army is invading Europe in Crimea and Donbas – it is nonsense to use terms like “pro-Russia” or “separatists” or “rebels.”
Apart from the Orlan-10, Ukraine has shot down or recovered seven different types of unmanned aerial vehicles that are used by the Russian armed forces and are not used by the Ukrainian armed forces. A Tachion drone produced by IzhMach was shot down on 29 June 2014; a Hrusha drone, also produced by IzhMach was shot down on 24 July 2014 and was used by Russia in the Battle of Debaltseve; a Zastava drone was shot down in July 2014; Hranat-1 and Hranat-2 drones were used by Russia in the Battle of Debaltseve; a Forpost drone was shot down in May 2015; Orlan-10 drones were shot down near the villages of Zelenopilya and Amvrosiyivka on 23 July 2015 and numerous times since; an Eleron-3-SV drone was spotted near the village of Olenivka. An average of 20 Russian UAVs fly over the invasion of Europe battlefront every week, marking targets for precise strikes by Russia’s artillery.
Logs recovered from the Russian drones show they are guided with a GSM mobile connection. One UAV took off from an airfield just east of Dolzhanskaya, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, flew 50 kilometres across the Tahanrozka Gulf of the Sea of Azov, and reconnoitred thoroughly over the Ukraine-controlled villages of Shyrokyne and Vodyane. Russia regularly bombards Shyrokyne and Vodyane using artillery which is positioned around the Russia-occupied town of Novoazovsk. Russia is able to make precision attacks against the positions of Ukrainian defenders because of accurate spotting by UAVs.
Russian UAV flights prove that, as far as Putin is concerned, the Crimea-Kherson boundary is still a battlefront of Russia’s invasion of Europe in Ukraine. Drones fly from Russia-occupied Armyansk in Crimea to survey Ukrainian defensive positions in in Kherson region in free Ukraine.
The Forpost drone is a Russian license-produced version of the Israeli IAI Searcher II drone. It is estimated to cost six million dollars per unit, and Russia is believed to have produced and deployed 20 of them to Putin’s War. It goes without saying that “miners and tractor drivers” cannot find or buy or operate such advanced military equipment as part of a supposed separatist insurrection.
If Russia didn’t get advanced technology from the West, it would not have unmanned aerial vehicles of the finest calibre. If the terrorists and mercenary army fighting against the Ukrainian armed forces in eastern Ukraine didn’t have direct support from the Russian armed forces they wouldn’t have unmanned aerial vehicles at all.
The way that Russia is violating the latest of the useless Minsk Agreement ceasefires shows the reliance the invaders have on drones. Current Russian attacks are fewer in number but greater in precision and deadliness. The reason is that unarmed aerial vehicles are being used for artillery spotting. Drones mean that Ukraine is fighting a deadly enemy. Drones prove that the enemy is Russia.