(Photo credit: Getty Images)
The Ukrainian government reported on 2 May that it had destroyed two Russian patrol boats on an island located in the Black Sea.
The defense ministry released grainy black and white aerial footage showing an explosion on a small military vessel.
💬Головнокомандувач ЗС України генерал Валерій Залужний:
Сьогодні на світанку біля острова Зміїний було знищено два російські катери типу Раптор.
Разом до Перемоги!🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/3wxlwjDtdx
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) May 2, 2022
According to the Ukrainian government report, these attacks were carried out by Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones, used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the conflict.
The commander in chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, was quoted as saying in the statement: “The Bayraktars are working.”
Since the start of the Kremlin’s special military operation, the Ukrainian military has shared multiple videos of drones hitting Russian supply convoys and other equipment.
Turkey, which has close economic and defense ties with both Russia and Ukraine, has been cautious in touting what is arguably now one of its most famous exports. Drone sales already represented a major concern for Russia long before its invasion of Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, warned late last year that Turkish drones would have a “destabilizing” impact on the region.
Ukraine was the first country to buy the TB2s in 2019, and has so far ordered at least 36 drones.
The ongoing delivery of weapons to be used against Russian forces has come just as Ankara is looking to toe the line between its NATO commitments and its deep economic ties with Moscow.
Last month, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov announced that Turkey had delivered a new shipment of Bayraktar TB2 drones to Kiev to confront Russia’s ongoing special military operation in the East European country.
“New Bayraktars have already arrived in Ukraine and are on combat duty,” Reznikov announced via social media.
Selcuk Bayraktar, chief technology officer of Baykar Technologies, is also the son-in-law of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has positioned himself as a key mediator between Moscow and Kiev in the war.
Turkey’s aerospace and defense industry documented more than three billion US dollars in exports last year; a record, according to its state news agency.