Nov 2, 2021
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Turkish “Bayraktars” will soon appear on the border of Crimea and Ukraine

In the photo: unmanned aerial vehicle Bayraktar TB2 at military exercises in the Nikolaev region

In the photo: unmanned aerial vehicle Bayraktar TB2 during military exercises in the Nikolaev region (Photo: Zuma TASS)

Kiev should stop using the expression “Turkish Bayraktars”, since those vehicles that are in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine belong to Ukraine. Such a statement by the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Mevlut Cavusoglu made after meeting with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

According to the Turkish minister, the sold weapons cease to be Turkish after they are purchased by another country and used by it. Therefore, Kiev should stop publicly associating the weapons supplied by Turkey with Ankara.

For the same reason, Cavusoglu believes that the responsibility for the use of the drone in Donbass lies solely with the Ukrainian side.

“There is nothing to blame Turkey for in this situation. In our fight against terrorism in different countries, we have come across different weapons produced in different countries, including Russia, but we have never blamed Russia for this. Ukraine should also stop using the name of our country, ”he said on the air of the Russia-1 TV channel.

Recall that last week the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine officially confirmed the first combat use of a Turkish-made strike drone in Donbass. The drone was alleged to have “destroyed the enemy’s cannon” with a bomb. This happened against the background of a sharp exacerbation of the situation in the southern sector of the front, where Ukrainian units invaded the “gray zone” and tried to occupy the village of Staromaryevka.

The use of Bayraktar by the Ukrainian side caused serious concern in Moscow, as it is a direct violation of the Minsk agreements.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on those “who are arming the controlled neo-Nazi Kiev regime” to think.

Of course, Lavrov, most likely, did not mean exclusively Turkey – weapons, to one degree or another, are supplied to Kiev by almost the entire collective West. But Ankara, nevertheless, hastened to distance itself – at least from the bombing of Donbass with the help of its drones.

However, it is unlikely that this “slap in the face of the team Zelensky from the “Turkish allies” “, as the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the OPSZ called the rebuke of the Turkish Foreign Minister Oleg Voloshin, will hinder the further development of Ukrainian-Turkish cooperation in the military-technical sphere. Ultimately, Cavusoglu only confirmed that his country in this case is driven by the well-known principle of “business and nothing personal.” This means that Ankara will continue to supply its Bayraktars to Ukraine.

According to some estimates, up to 12 such devices are already in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and in total Kiev intends to purchase 36 shock drones from Turkey. There are also plans – together with the Turkish company Bayraktar Savunma, to build in Ukraine a network of service centers for the maintenance, repair and modernization of UAVs. And then to establish their production. Funds for the construction of the plant, where the shock drones will be collected by Ukrainian specialists, are planning to invest in Turkish partners.

– Cavusoglu, to some extent, is right when he says that these “Bayraktars” belong to Ukraine, – comments on the statement of the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry military correspondent “KP” Alexander Kots… – Since Kiev bought these devices, it means that they can be called Ukrainian systems.

I even like this logic in the minister’s reasoning. We need to make such statements, in fact.

For Donbass, the main task now is to repel attacks from attack drones. As we know, the “ceiling” of Bayraktarov is about 8 km, while it is capable of carrying missiles that can hit for 30 km. And the LDNR simply does not have such air defense systems to shoot it down.

That is, the moment has come when the air defense issues of Lugansk and Donetsk must somehow be resolved by Moscow. Therefore, if Moscow cannot directly supply the people’s republics with systems such as “Tor”, “Buk” and “Pantsir”, then Donetsk, for example, has diplomatic relations with Abkhazia. She can.

Let’s say we are selling Abkhazia, and she, in turn, is selling to Donetsk. And then we can safely say that these are not Russian or Abkhazian weapons systems, but Donetsk ones, since they were sold and are now owned by the Donetsk People’s Republic. In the same way “Bayraktars” can be called Ukrainian.

But one must understand that the Turkish minister made his statement for the Russian audience, since the commentary was given to the Russian media. And Turkish diplomacy, as you know, is flexible, when they say one thing to their audience, the second to the Ukrainian audience, and the third to the Russian audience.

In fact, the Turks are pursuing exclusively their own goals. They are selling not just a piece of iron: “Here’s an airplane, play with it however you want.” They sell complex tactics of these weapons, including what we saw, in fact, recently in Donbass during the first attack of Bayraktar on the DNR artillery.

I am sure that they entered Staromaryevka and opened fire on the militia in order to provoke a retaliatory attack. The retaliatory attack was provoked – which, by the way, cannot but rejoice me, because the “response” is, after all, really given. A battery of D-30 howitzers was taken out and deployed, which was spotted by reconnaissance and attacked with a drone.

The only thing that was attacked was only one missile. Therefore, I think, this is a kind of “probing” – how far Moscow will allow them to go far.

“SP”: – And what is your opinion?

– According to the statements that are heard on the air, it seems to me that they can go far. The reaction that followed from our side is clearly not enough.

However, we see that there is also a reaction on the economic front – from today on we no longer supply coal and electricity to Ukraine. Moreover, electricity is not supplied, both from Russia and from Belarus.

I don’t know how these events are connected. But if so, then I applaud.

“SP”: – Turkey not only sells “Bayraktars” to Kiev. It has big plans for Ukraine, including opening the production of these drones on its territory. Will they regret it later?

– They will fulfill all the conditions that they have there under the contract with Ukraine. I repeat, they pursue their own goals.

In Turkey, now all production lines for the production of Bayraktar are clogged. Now the Turks are very seriously contracted. After the Turkish drones were used in Syria, then in Nagorno-Karabakh, they received quite good advertising, and now there are a large number of orders for these devices.

Need, respectively, and service centers in the future to service them. Those that are being built in Ukraine will, apparently, serve not only drones that will be produced there, but also that are produced in Turkey for other states.

So far, there has simply not been an advertising campaign for other weapons that can fight these devices. But, I think, if Kiev suddenly dares to launch a full-scale offensive with the use of attack unmanned aircraft, and Russian air defense systems show their capabilities, the need for most service centers in Ukraine will disappear.

Again, we understand very well that Turkish instructors work with the operators of these complexes in Ukraine.

Orientalist political scientist Igor Dimitriev, in turn, believes that Turkey is acting in tandem with Great Britain in Ukraine.

– The British have already quite closely entered the military sphere of Ukraine, in the administration of the country. The Turks also want to receive some of their dividends, and the condition for this will be military support, in particular, technological support.

But the Turkish minister flirts when he says that Turkey bears no responsibility for the sold Bayraktars. Turkish instructors are training the Ukrainian military to operate these devices. Without their help, Ukraine cannot yet effectively use drones in combat.

True, we have nothing special to show the Turks. Because Russia is also an active participant in the arms market. For example, we sold weapons to both sides of the Karabakh conflict – Armenia and Azerbaijan. Although only Armenia is our ally in the CSTO.

If Russia approaches these issues exclusively from a commercial point of view, then what claims can there be against Turkey?

But, of course, Turkey, selling Bayraktars to Ukraine, has not only a purely commercial interest there. It is tightly entering the land market, the agrarian sphere. And in general, it assumes to expand its influence in the regions that have always been considered the zone of influence of Russia.

“SP”: – But Ankara could not but know why Ukraine needs these “Bayraktars”, which means that a certain share lies on it …

– The share of responsibility, first of all, lies on our side. For entering into such a dubious treaty relationship with Turkey, which is clearly working against Russia and its interests on many fronts. By the way, Bayraktars are advertised precisely as an effective weapon against Russian weapons systems.

The Turks are our commercial competitors in the arms market. And if you take the political side, that they have always relied on the enemies of Russia or on the rejection of Russia’s allies, to one degree or another.

When Cavusoglu says that Ankara is not responsible for Ukraine’s actions in Donbass, he is clearly disingenuous. After all, it is not clear then why they were selling these “Bayraktars”, if they did not expect that Kiev would use them in the conflict in the southeast.

Maybe Ukraine is still waging some kind of war somewhere? I do not remember. But now, apparently, after some time we must wait for the Bayraktars on the Crimean border.

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