Ukrainian Official Lambastes Famed Turkish Bayraktar UAV in a Prank Call with Russians

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  • 03:37 AM, October 19, 2022
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Ukrainian Official Lambastes Famed Turkish Bayraktar UAV in a Prank Call with Russians
Floral tribute to Turkish Bayraktar TB2 combat drone in Kyiv, Ukraine @via Twitter

A top Ukrainian official mocked Turkey-produced Bayraktar TB2 combat drone’s effectiveness during an "interview" with Russian pranksters.

Sergey Pashinsky, a politician who also heads the Association of Defense Enterprises of Ukraine, told pranksters Vovan and Lexus – posing as former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul – during the call that Bayraktars have “no combat effectiveness due to their extreme vulnerability to air defense systems.”

In a video published by the duo on Telegram, now being shared on other platforms such as YouTube, Pashinsky said “there is more PR and corruption in Bayraktar than combat use.” The conversation reportedly took place this month before October 8.

Bayraktar has been hailed by the West and Ukrainians as a “game changer,” so much that citizens from a number of countries (Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Canada) collected funds to buy one for Ukraine. Even before the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine, the Bayraktar was considered lethal. In 2020, the UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, stressed the “game-changing” role of Turkish UAVs in modern warfare in the Middle East and North Africa.

Read: How Turkey’s Bayraktar Drones Became an International Success

“Look how Turkey has been operating in Libya where it has used Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs since mid-2019,’’ Wallace said. “Those UAVs have conducted intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and targeting operations against frontlines, supply lines and logistics bases.’’

And in Syria, Turkey has used “lightly armed drones and smart ammunition to stop tanks, armored cars and air defense systems in their tracks,” he said.

Ukrainian Official Lambastes Famed Turkish Bayraktar UAV in a Prank Call with Russians
Sergey Pashinsky during prank call with Russians Vovan and Lexus in early October, 2022 @via social media

The Ukrainian politician, however, claimed that the drones are “first and foremost, a PR project.”

Ukraine has received over 50 TB2s from Turkey so far - both purchased and donated. It will soon begin producing these drones in the country, jointly with Ankara.

“I was personally against it (buying Bayraktar UAVs), because they are extremely vulnerable to air defense systems,” Pashinsky said, adding that Ukraine had a lot of Bayraktars before fighting broke out and that “they were all shot down within a week.”

Also read: Turkey's Bayraktar Drones-Success or Failure in Ukraine?

He further alleged that the drone is “not a self-sufficient weapon” it cannot work by itself as it “gets shot down by air defense systems in a flash and has no combat effectiveness at all.”

Pashinsky noted that the Bayraktars could however be used in tandem with anti-radar missiles which have been supplied to Kyiv by Washington.

HIMARS – the actual game changer?

He praised the effectiveness of U.S.-made long-range missile systems. “If not for the HIMARS and HARM systems, there would be no more Bayraktars in Ukraine.”

Commander of Russia’s Integrated Group of Forces in Ukraine Army General Sergey Surovikin told reporters on Tuesday that an “uneasy situation has developed in the Kherson area” and credited HIMARS for the same. "The enemy is purposefully striking Kherson infrastructural facilities and residential buildings. HIMARS rockets have damaged the Antonovka Bridge and the dam of the Kakhovka HPP and movement along them has been stopped."

Attacks on Crimean Bridge – a U.S. Call?

The official also admitted that Ukraine coordinates its military operations with Washington. “As soon as you tell me that the U.S. approves the destruction of the Crimean Bridge, things can move forward…. I only need a verbal confirmation,” he said.

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