LUGANSK, October 27. /TASS/. The armed forces of Ukraine have officially admitted violating the Minsk Agreements on Ukrainian reconciliation by using a Turkish-made Bayraktar drone in the east of the country, a diplomat of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) has said.
"The Ukrainian military declare in a deliberate and even demonstrative fashion that they are violating the Minsk Agreements," said Rodion Miroshnik, who represents the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic in the Contact Group’s political subgroup. "In September 2014, Kiev signed a memorandum envisaging a straightforward ban on flights of combat aviation and foreign unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). But [Ukrainian Armed Forces Commander Valery] Zaluzhny is reporting flights and even combat use of UAVs along the line of contact. Therefore, he just does not give a damn about Kiev’s obligations under the Minsk Agreements."
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed on Tuesday that the Ukrainian military had used the Turkish-made Bayraktar UAV. According to the press service, the drone did not cross the linke of contact and was used "to enforce ceasefire compliance by the enemy." According to the report, the drone fired a guided missile to destroy an enemy weapon.
In accordance with additional ceasefire control measures, in effect since July 27, 2020, the sides are prohibited from using unmanned aerial vehicles in the vicinity of the line of contact. Only the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Ukraine (OSCE) is allowed to use drones for its monitoring activities.
In 2019, Ukraine purchased and tested Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles, planning to equip them with the MAM-L laser-guided smart munitions, produced by Turkish defense industry manufacturer Roketsan.
On September 29, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and Turkey’s Bayraktar Savunma signed a memorandum on the construction of the training and testing facility outside the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. The facility is intended to provide a technical maintenance of Bayraktar UAVs and training courses on how to operate the Turkish combat striking drones.