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Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv says it received new Turkish-made armed drones

Bayraktar TB2s are ready for combat, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov adds
A Bayraktar drone seen during a rehearsal for the Independence Day military parade in central Kyiv, 18 August 2021 (Reuters)

Ukraine's defence minister said on Wednesday that his armed forces had received new Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 armed drones as conflict with Russia entered its seventh day. 

“New Bayraktars have arrived and they are ready for combat,” Oleksii Reznikov said in a Facebook post without elaborating. 

There was no immediate comment from Turkey. 

Reznikov also said that Kyiv was set to receive new Stinger and Javelin missiles from foreign allies. 

Ukrainian forces have been deploying Bayraktar combat drones against Russian troops since Moscow launched its invasion on 24 February.

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Footage released by the Ukrainian military over the weekend indicated that TB2s had destroyed long Russian military columns in Kherson, near Kyiv. The Bayraktar strikes obliterated military equipment and killed numerous Russian troops.

Russia-Ukraine war: Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drones proving effective against Russian forces
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Ukraine and Turkey cooperate closely on defence - their relationship has flourished in recent years. The TB2's producer Baykar was building a plant in Ukraine before the war.

Ukrainian companies also produce the TB2's engines, and Turkey has sold more than 20 Bayraktars to Kyiv over the past two years. Some experts believe the number of TB2s in the Ukrainian arsenal could be even higher. 

Last month, Ukraine and Turkey signed a series of agreements, including a deal that would expand the production capabilities of Turkish drone-maker Baykar in Ukraine.

The combat drones have become famous in recent years, appearing to play decisive roles in various conflicts, including in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The conflict in Ukraine has left at least 136 civilians dead, including 13 children, according to initial estimates by the United Nations. 

One million people have been internally displaced, the UN’s refugee agency said, and a further 677,000 have been forced to flee Ukraine to neighbouring countries. 

A full-scale invasion of Ukraine was launched last week by Russia in what President Vladimir Putin said was a "special military operation" aimed at the "demilitarisation and denazification" of the country.

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