The German daily Bild reported on Ukraine’s use of Turkish-made TB2s in the Donbas region. “On Tuesday, the Ukrainian army employed a freshly bought Turkish combat drone to stop fatal bombardment by pro-Russian forces,” it stated. Since then, the Kremlin has been incensed and has vowed retribution.” The reaction of the Germans to the news was fairly surprising.
According to Russian army broadcaster “Zvezda,” “if Moscow does not react forcefully at all levels,” “the Bayraktar will circle above the Donbas and shoot at the positions of the forces; of the People’s Republics sooner or later.” As a result, the Kremlin has been summoned to retaliate.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has warned to “consider” what to do next to “those” who “arm the neo-Nazi-controlled Kyiv dictatorship.” He was referring to President Volodymir Selensky of Ukraine and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey. Both presidents agreed just a few weeks ago to send more Bayraktar drones to Ukraine.
In addition, numerous media, including German ones, claimed that Ukraine had broken a “ban” by using drones or violated the Minsk peace agreement, which prohibits heavy weapons near the contact line. The ceasefire agreement, however, does not include the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
The German government, on the other hand, asked Ukraine to stop the use of TB2s. A spokeswoman in Berlin said that “all sides are using drones, which, according to the Minsk agreement, is reserved for the OSCE alone”. The federal government is therefore calling on “all sides to de-escalate”.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, contradicted this. “The Ukrainian side firmly rejects today’s warning from the Foreign Office,” Melnyk told Bild. His country has “the legitimate right to self-defence if their territory is bombarded day and night with heavy Russian weapons and civilians and soldiers are killed”.
For this reason, Ukraine calls on “the German government, instead of expressing concern about the dramatic situation in the occupied territories, to redouble its efforts as a mediator to convene a Normandy summit in Berlin as agreed and to put Moscow in its place “.
The Minsk Agreement of September 2014 banned “foreign drones” 15 kilometres from the contact line in eastern Ukraine. Like the pseudo-government of the “Donetsk People’s Republic”, the federal government regards the drone of the Ukrainian army as such due to its manufacture in Turkey.
The Ukrainian government claimed that the TB2 was positioned 15 km away from the target. It is also open to dispute what a “foreign drone” is. Ukraine is the owner of drones, so the drones are not foreign at all.