The Kremlin is concerned about the fact that the Ukrainian army could use Turkish combat drones Bayraktar TB2 against pro-Russian militants in the Donbas, said the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Alexei Yerkhov, reports the Turkish news agency Hurriyet.
Yerkhov said that, according to Russian experts, the Turkish combat drones Bayraktar TB2 will turn into a "tool of superiority" if the Ukrainian army uses them against the Russian military and mercenaries in the Donbas.
Yerkhov stressed that the Russian authorities are not only afraid of such a possibility but will also take steps to prevent this scenario. He did not say what actions Moscow was preparing.
"We must admit that Russian experts express fears that Kyiv will not be able to resist the temptation to use the superiority provided by the Turkish drones. I don't know if these fears are justified. We don't want this scenario to happen. We will try to prevent it," he said.
In March 2019, Ukrainian Armed Forces received first shipment of Bayraktar TB2 drones. Later, Ukrainian state-owned defense concern Ukroboronprom announced that Ukraine’s company Ukrspetsexport and the Turkish company Baykar Defense would begin a joint production of another new-generation Turkish drone, Akinci.
In November 2020, the Russian news outlet the Military Observer reported that Ukraine deployed combat drones Bayraktar TB2 to the Donbas. Six Turkish-made drones were reportedly delivered to the Ukrainian military in Kramatorsk. The Military Observer did not provide any additional details.