US-supplied Drones Proven Ineffective at Frontlines in Eastern Ukraine

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According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, mini-drones, supplied to Ukraine by the US, have proven ineffective.

US-supplied Drones Proven Ineffective at Frontlines in Eastern Ukraine

Sgt. Dane Phelps, from 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division prepares to launch the Raven unmanned aerial vehicle during a joint US and Iraqi cordon and search operation in Patika Province, Iraq (Photo: US Army / Sgt. 1st Class Michael Guillory)

Advisor to the Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Natan Chazin, criticized the 72 Raven RQ-11B Analog mini-drones, supplied to Ukraine by the US, the Reuters news agency reported. According to Chazin, the drones have been ineffective.

“From the beginning, it was the wrong decision to use these drones in our [conflict],” Chazin said, adding that the drones are not protected against jamming and hacking by modern means of electronic warfare of the enemy. Chazin also said that if it were up to him, he would return them.

Kiev constantly requests the Western countries to increase their military aid and arms supplies. So, on December 5, Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said that Kiev primarily asks the US to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

In September, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Romanenko, was indignant with the amount of aid that the country receives from its foreign partners. “They are helping us right now, about $600 million. Europe and the US gave Afghanistan $15 billion. How should it be understood? Where is Afghanistan, and where is Ukraine?” the General said.

On July 27, it was reported that Ukraine received the 72 Raven RQ-11B Analog mini-drones, totaling over $12 million, as technical assistance from the US. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said that the sent hardware is not equipped with weapons, so it is non-lethal. The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were supplied within the framework of the Initiatives to restore confidence in Europe program.

In March, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Michael Carpenter, in response to requests of the Kiev’s authorities said that Washington does not supply lethal weapons to the country, as, primarily, it is needed to “train the Ukrainian forces, make them more combat-ready.”

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