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The Turkish-made deadly Bayraktar TB2 combat drone has been deployed at Donbas by the Ukrainian Joint Forces Operation (JFO) for the first time.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Valeriy Zaluzhny, has ordered the deployment of Bayraktar TB2s in Donbas to force the “enemy” for a ceasefire. The unmanned aerial vehicle did not cross Ukrainian territory.
A Bayraktar-released bomb destroyed enemy cannon. From 14:25 to 15:15, a battery of enemy D-30 howitzers fired at the positions of the Ukrainian military in the Granitnoye area. Two Ukrainian servicemen were wounded and another was killed in the incident.
Russia, which is trying to improve relationship with Turkey by selling it S-400 missile systems, appears to be unhappy with the deployment of these Turkish-made drones in conflict areas.
“We have special, good relations with Turkey. But in this case, our fears are confirmed that the supply of such weapons to the Ukrainian military could potentially lead to destabilization of the situation on the line of contact. We see, as soon as weapons fall into the hands of the military, they potentially begin to be used in the area. This leads to destabilization,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.
Bayraktar TB2 managed to find, track and destroy 122mm D-30 howitzer south of the occupied Boykivske (formerly called Telmanovo). Howitzer had been responsible for the attacks against the village of Granitne, Mil.in.ua reported citing volunteer Roman Donik.
Roman Donik noted that Ukrainian drones were used to strike at targets from a distance of more than 15 km, to save the lives of civilians and soldiers. “In response, to save the lives of soldiers and civilians, a Bayraktar UAV was raised, a battery was found, and a cannon was destroyed by a missile,”he wrote.
The Ukrainian Army and Navy already have several Bayraktar UAVs in their inventory. Following escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, a Bayraktar TB2 conducted a reconnaissance flight on 9 April 2021, over the Donbas region. This was the first operationalization of the aircraft by the Ukrainian Forces within an active conflict zone.