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Putin’s Next Problem: Russia Is Locked Into a Drone War in Ukraine

Russia Takes On Ukrainian Drones as World Watches UAV Technology – Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt said on Telegram on Monday that Russian forces successfully shot down two Ukrainian drones near the border overnight. 

“Today at 4:15 am Russian air defence crews shot down two Ukrainian drones,” the governor said. “There are no casualties, injuries or damage. The situation is completely under control.”

Hundreds of American-made drones have been given to Ukraine by the United States in recent weeks, with additional drones and weaponry supplied by other NATO forces. The Switchblade 300 UAV, a loitering munition that locates a target and explodes on impact, are one of the most commonly used American drones in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian soldiers present in the United States at the outbreak of the war in February have also been trained to use the larger Switchblade 600 drones by U.S. soldiers.

Seth Frantzman, the Senior Middle East Correspondent at The Jerusalem Post, argued last week that Ukraine is “fast becoming a test bed for new types of drones so that other countries can see how effective they may be in future wars.”

Frantzman’s analysis of Ukraine’s heavy use of unmanned aerial vehicles and suicide drones comes as the United States announces a brand-new Phoenix Ghost Drone designed specifically for the Ukrainian military. Built by USAF, the drone was designed to help Ukrainian soldiers fend off Russian troops regrouping in the eastern region of Donbas. 

Citing the ease of use of drones, which can be operated from ground control stations, Frantzman argues that Western countries are now beginning to see how UAVs could be used to not only help Ukraine but their own militaries too.

“The US has said it wants to learn to confront these near-peer adversaries after fighting terrorists for years, and in Ukraine, the US and others have a chance,” he writes.

Japan Reportedly Eying Drones Used by Ukraine

Reports suggest that Japan has also been watching the performance of drone technology in the Ukraine-Russia conflict, with the nation’s military leaders considering whether to add attack UAVs to their arsenal. 

Yoshihide Toshida, the chief of staff of the Ground Self-Defence Forces, said on March 17 that there is “no doubt that reconnaissance and attack functionality using a multitude of low-cost ‘swarm drones’ would be militarily advantageous.” 

Punisher Drone

Punisher Drone. Image Credit: Industry Handout.

Forpost Drone

Forpost UAV.

The Japanese Coast Guard has also reportedly been testing the ability of American-made UAVs since last year, with the aim of incorporating the devices into search-and-rescue missions. 

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. sprinter

    April 26, 2022 at 9:10 am

    The invaders do not stand a chance because the full spectrum of drones is deployed in Ukraine.
    This is where Pareto, analysis comes into play. Pareto, found that 20% of causes related to 80% of results. With the broad spectrum of drones the Ukrainians now possess, the odds are that one of two will inflict significant damage on the invaders.

    The RUSSIANS have provided, without realising, western countries with a scenario where their drone technology can be tested on the invaders.

    Putin’s lack of foresight is breathtaking, for a supposed leader of Russia. He has been in office through phony elections for over 20 years. Compare that with the new where a presidential term is four years. There is a good reason why sensible countries don’t let a politician stay in office for extended periods.

  2. Him

    April 26, 2022 at 9:52 am

    If countries that have numerically-small armies such as Finland, but they had, say, 4000 drones capable of shooting down jets and tanks. Would such a swarm of many thousands of cheap drones provide functional “air superiority” to defend against an attacking nation that had, say, 500 conventional fighter jets?

  3. CK

    April 26, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Probably. An 8:1 ratio? Hard to see it panning out any other way, the key words being “capable of shooting down jets and tanks”. Currently not all drones do both well, but it feels we are getting there.

  4. mcswell

    April 26, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Kursk regional governor Roman Starovoyt: “Uh, everything’s under control. Situation normal. Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh… everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re fine. We’re all fine here now, thank you. How are you? Uh, we had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous.”

  5. Alex

    April 27, 2022 at 6:54 am

    When the world sees the truth, Bandera’s Nazis burn ass so much that they begin to burn out and their approach to hell with their dad Bandera becomes faster.

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

  6. CK

    April 28, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    It’s hilarious to think Alex doesn’t even realise everything he says has the opposite effect of what he means.

    WHen I meet or see people like Alex, I truly wonder how we ever got so far. Science, medicine, being in space. Doesn’t feel possible if ever one person of our race can be that stupid.

    The imbecile can’t even post something new on a new days, same old recycling, different garbage for a different day, just like his nation, reliving their WW2 hits.

    It gives me great joy to remember every single nation that has lived in the past has indeed been consigned to it, and Russia is boarding that train to history with gusto.

    Do svidaniya komrades!

  7. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:09 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  8. CK

    April 29, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    Ah, I see your tactic. You add a little shitty first paragraph so it doesn’t detect your duplicate post. Is this what it has come to now, you just posting the same exact post 2, 3, 4, 5 times per article?

    Wow, did they run out of paper in Russia, Alex? You guys can’t print new material? Literally using the same lines, over and over again, and now in duplicate in every post!

    Are you so defeated you can’t even come up with anything new? How sad. Now the idiot is talking about lend-lease at the end of his post, because he literally just copy + pasted it from another thread, with zero relevance to this one.

    Here’s a reminder:

    If someone wanted to know the truth about anything in Ukraine Alex, the last person they would go to is you.

    Paragraphs and paragraphs of bollocks, dubious claims about “independent journalists”, random documentarians, conspiracy theorists, deluded claims that of course, have no backup, lie after lie after lie.

    Classical Kremlin troll approach. Just flood the internet, the comments, the media, with tosh, doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you write some old nonsense. Make sure to say the claim is supported by some dude in Germany, France, the states. If it’s a “documentary” (usually from youtube) then the better.

    Anything that victimises Russia, always the victim, always the bullied, never the problem. It’s always the Nazis. It’s always some pseudo-historical point.

    Anyone that has had the misfortune to study your “tactics” sees the forest for the trees, the pattern of lies, disinformation, blanketing of random claims, deflection, obfuscation, and other words beyond your vocabulary.

    It’s hopeless Alex. Your lies are as short as your intellect. What a pathetic job, to sit in your government shed, spreading your pathetic, government lies.

    A pathetic job for a truly pathetic man. A better match could not be made in heaven.

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