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Turkey drones risk destabilising situation in east Ukraine, Russia warns

Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drone at Gecitkale Airport [BIROL BEBEK/AFP/Getty Images]
Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drone at Gecitkale Airport, 16 December 2019 [BIROL BEBEK/AFP/Getty Images]

The Kremlin said today that its fears about Turkey's decision to sell strike drones to Ukraine were being realised and that the Turkish drones risked destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was commenting on media reports that Ukrainian government forces had successfully deployed a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone to strike a position in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.

Last month the Ukrainian government announced that it is planning to buy 24 more Turkish unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Ukraine started test flights on Turkey's domestically-manufactured TB2 drones in 2019.

Over the past decade, Turkey has dramatically developed its drone technology to overcome numerous arms embargoes and restrictions imposed on it, resulting in models such as the Bayraktar and Anka-S drones which brought global attention to Turkey's ascendency in the global arms industry.

READ: Ukraine signs memorandum on training and maintenance centres for Turkish drones

Bayraktar TB2 drones particularly had wreaked havoc on Syrian regime forces in March last year in retaliation for the killing of 34 Turkish soldiers, they were also instrumental in helping the Libyan government defeat Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar's offensive on Tripoli that summer and enabled Azerbaijan to capture strategic areas of Nagorno-Karabakh and win the conflict in November.

Famed American political scientist Francis Fukuyama has said that drones have "elevated" Turkey and its military capabilities on the international area and signal a historic shift in warfare with which Turkey is changing the Middle East.

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Europe & RussiaNewsRussiaTurkeyUkraine
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