On October 26, all news agencies of the world reported that Ukraine used a Turkish-made Bayraktar combat UAV in the Donbass. However, Russia showed a restrained reaction to those reports. It appears that Russia did not believe them from the start.
The unofficial reaction was predictable. Many demanded Russia should show a tough reaction to such a daring move that Ukraine made. The use of the drone came as a blatant violation of the armistice agreement concluded in the summer of 2020, which prohibited the use of attack drones.
Interestingly, in the evening of October 27 it was said that Ukrainian Defense Minister Andrey Taran denied reports of Kiev using the Turkish Bayraktar drone to strike the Donbass.
“Ukraine has never used Bayraktar attack drones in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. (...) The video that has been distributed in the media is a fake that came from pro-Russian mercenaries. The video clearly shows that it was a pre-planted bomb that exploded, but not a drone ammo explosion," Taran said.
Earlier during the day, however, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine confirmed the use of the Turkish drone.
It is worthy of note that Russia did not hurry to believe those statements. In particular, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia was double-checking the information about the use of the Turkish drone in the south-east of Ukraine.
Kiev has a big mouth, Lavrov believes.
"From the latest statements that the Kiev authorities make, it is very difficult to find out where the truth is and where the fiction is. We are now double-checking by all possible means, we contact representatives of the Donbass too," Lavrov said.
Representatives for the People's Republic of Donetsk were also restrained in their comments about the use of the Turkish drone.
"At the moment, we are checking information about the possible use of Turkish-made UAVs by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. There is no confirmation of this fact yet," Natalia Nikonorova, a representative for the People's Republic of Donetsk said.
She did not rule out that the statements from the Ukrainian side about the drone strike could be fake.
It is worthy of note that the German Foreign Ministry also commented on the reports about the use of the Turkish drone. German officials in particular said that it was only UAVs of the OSCE monitoring mission that were eligible to fly over the conflict zone.
it appears that the whole story about the use of the Turkish drone in the southeast of Ukraine was nothing but propaganda. Apparently, Kiev decided to remind everyone of its "military might."
Ukrainian publication Strana put forward another version to explain Russia's restrained response. According to Strana, Moscow did not want to escalate the crisis as the Kremlin currently needs to launch the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
Quite on the contrary, Kiev could assume that it would be good to provoke Moscow to either disrupt or slow down the certification of Nord Stream 2.