For the first time Ukraine has used the Turkish drone “Bayraktar” in the hostilities in the Donbass. The video footage of the attack on the positions of the DPR army was distributed by journalists. Later, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed the use of a Turkish-made aircraft “by order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Valeria Zaluzhny“.
The drone footage shows how it “catches” the target – presumably the D-30 howitzer, and after a while the gun is hit. The Ukrainian Armed Forces argued that Bayraktar did not cross the contact line. However, observers noticed that the telemetry data captured in the video suggests that the drone was deep over the territory of the DPR.
At the same time, the memorandum of the Trilateral Contact Group envisages a ban on flights of military aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (with the exception of UAVs used by the OSCE monitoring mission) “along the entire line of contact of the parties in the zone of cessation of the use of weapons for a width of at least 30 km.” Thus, the Ukrainian Armed Forces again violated the Minsk agreements.
According to some reports, for the sake of demonstrative use of “Bayraktar” Kiev set up its military. By order, they occupied the settlement of Staromaryevka, located in the gray zone, and thus became a target for the DNR artillery. As a result, the Ukrainian 93rd Brigade suffered losses. On the artillery of the DPR, which inflicted retaliatory strikes, and worked “Bayraktar”.
Now Turkish drones can be used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces more and more often. Ukraine signed an agreement for the supply of Bayraktars back in 2019, and now it is planned to build a center for their repair and modernization near the city of Vasilkov. For that Zelensky thanked Recep Erdogan, calling the project “real support for the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”
Moscow’s response was streamlined. Dmitry Peskov called an important topic of military-technical cooperation between Kiev and Ankara. At the same time, he made a reservation that the Russian side “would not want such weapons systems, shall we say, to be used with hot heads to strike at its own citizens of Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, over the past day, more than 110 shells were fired by the Ukrainian military across the territory of the DPR and LPR. It was also reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces had managed to deploy a pontoon ferry across the Kalmius River near Staromaryevka the day before. Data on the destruction of the crossing by the DPR army has not yet been reported.
Arseniy Kolbasov, unmanned aerial systems operation specialist I am ready to personally help residents of Donbass to cope with new threats.
– I won’t talk about air defense – I’m a pilot after all. From my, pilot’s point of view, the best way to counter the Bayraktars is to bomb their base from a similar drone. Hypothetically, the Kronstadt “Orion” is quite capable of this task. Practically – “Orion” for Donbass, of course, no one will give. The roasted rooster still pecked, the DPR and LPR urgently need to plug the hole, especially in the frames. Personally, he himself is ready to “sell” for the rank of junior lieutenant.
Military expert Alexey Leonkov admits that after the Bayraktar attack, Russia will close the skies over the people’s republics.
– A new military-political reality has already arrived. Drones can be used in both reconnaissance and strike versions, and if the defending side is very bad with air defense, drones become a good replacement for tactical aviation.
We all observed this in Nagorno-Karabakh, where the air defense system was actually collapsed, and its organization was delegated to the commanders of batteries and crews, who communicated poorly with each other during hostilities. There was no continuous radar field in Nagorno-Karabakh. Therefore, the enemy knew where to fly from and how to destroy. As a result, the scattered air defense was suppressed and destroyed.
“SP”: How would this not start in Donbass …
“There may be a similar sequence of events. In Nagorno-Karabakh, “Bayraktars” worked for the first two weeks as scouts, target designators. Their main task was to detect air defense systems for their subsequent destruction with the help of artillery and missiles. We all saw footage of how it all happened.
After the destruction of the Bayraktary air defense system, they gained air superiority and began methodical work to destroy ground fire weapons. There were up to a hundred UAVs in the air at the same time, some of which worked as reconnaissance aircraft, some as strike drones, and some as loitering ammunition – the so-called kamikaze drones.
“SP”: They did not cope with their work, it seems, not for long …
– Until the newest Russian air defense systems Tor-M2KM and S-300 appeared, which slightly thinned the ranks of the Bayraktar. And then the Pole-21 electronic warfare systems appeared, which, after switching on, made it so that not a single UAV could fly into the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The operators lost contact with them, after which the drones became a good target.
“SP”: This technique can appear in the Donbass?
– It has been said more than once that there are significant gaps in the air defense of the DPR and LPR. Their air defense systems – SAM “Strela-2”, “Strela-10”, “Wasp” do not reach the heights at which the “Bayraktar” flies. Also, they cannot create a continuous radar field along the entire line of contact. There is information that the air defense systems cover only Lugansk and Donetsk, and the rest of the settlements are left without cover.
Russia could declare the territory of the people’s republics a no-fly zone by deploying S-400 complexes in the Rostov and Voronezh regions. In this case, the flights of “Bayraktar” will become useless. As soon as they cross the line of contact or try to fire on the positions of the defenders of Donbass, the S-400 can knock them out. Moreover, the cost of the S-400 and Bayraktar missiles is commensurate.
According to political scientist Alexander Dudchak, there are no longer any political methods to counter Kiev’s aggression.
– The Kiev regime feels its complete impunity. His aggression is stimulated by Washington and other NATO countries. Turkey supplies Baitakars. There was information that they had already flown over Donetsk, unnoticed by air defense systems.
“SP”: Maybe you should somehow put pressure on Turkey and cut off the supply channel of their UAVs?
– This is not a method. Well, there will be no Bayraktar, there will be Israeli drones. Eventually they will make their own drones.
SP: The Bayraktar attack occurred in violation of the Minsk agreements, which prohibit UAVs, with the exception of OSCE observation drones, from even approaching the contact line. Do you think there are any political methods for resolving the issue?
– Persuasion cannot solve this problem. You need to use military methods. APU should get in the face. It is not clear why it is necessary to restrain, express concern, call on the world community, Western countries to notice what is happening in Donbass. Everyone has understood everything for a long time. The OSCE plays on the side of Kiev. To the extent that peacekeeping structures are used to deliver mortar crews.
It makes no sense to negotiate with terrorists. Ukraine is now a terrorist state. They even act as terrorists on their own territory. People are persecuted for political and economic reasons. You can endlessly call Kiev to something. This hurts the prestige of Russia. People will have doubts. Why get Russian passports if the big Motherland cannot protect them?