Western Components in UAVs are Killing Ukrainians

The Russian armed forces are employing “Albatros-M5” drones across almost the entire front line in Ukraine, contributing to the genocide of the Ukrainian people. The Albatros company, founded in 2017, has developed the “Albatros-M5” UAV, initially promoted as a civilian drone. However, it is now being used for military purposes by the aggressor nation.

The electronic components used to build these drones come from various countries: Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and China. Key components include Savox servos (Sweden-China), Scorpion engines (USA-China), and RFDesign radio channels (Australia). Additionally, motor controllers are supplied by Scorpion (USA-China) and Hobbyking (China), and propeller blades are manufactured by Aeronaut (Germany). The Albatros drones also incorporate Nvidia Jetson microcomputers for object recognition.

Other components of the “Albatros-M5” UAV are sourced from Malaysia, China, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Sweden, and Switzerland. The raw materials come from Russia and Germany. During 2022-2023, Russian military forces tested these drones on the Ukrainian front lines. The drones were deployed by the Russian Border Service, FSB, Special Operations Forces, and the National Guard of Russia.

For precise strikes, the drones use high-quality cameras. The Albatros drones are equipped with Sony cameras: the Sony A6000 and Sony RX1R2 for photography, and the Sony FCB-EH6500 and Sony FCB-EV7500 for video recording. These cameras are mounted on gyrostabilized gimbals that can be purchased on the company’s website.

It’s important to note that the imposed sanctions are not entirely effective. As of now, only two Alabuga-based entities, “Albatros” and “Delfin Alabuga,” are under US sanctions. Other related companies like JSC “OEZ PVT Alabuga,” “Alabuga Development,” “Alabuga Exim,” and “Alabuga Machinery” are not sanctioned. Before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, 74% of all foreign investments in Tatarstan were directed to Alabuga.

In the fall of 2022, The Washington Post reported on Russia’s plans to manufacture Iranian-designed military drones within its territory. In June 2023, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby revealed that American intelligence had information about Tehran supplying Russia with equipment for a joint kamikaze drone production facility, aiming to produce 6,000 drones by summer 2025.

Despite its involvement in the war in Ukraine, the Albatros company rarely highlights its military activities. However, they have updated their “Albatros-M5” military presentation, including routes across Ukrainian territories.

In summary, pre-invasion sanctions did not impede the development of Russia’s military-industrial complex. Post-invasion sanctions are being circumvented through intermediaries in Western countries. Russia continues to kill Ukrainians and commit genocide, with consequences that extend to EU countries. Ukraine is enduring this onslaught of terror and death, but the EU, USA, and the global community must recognize the threat and provide necessary assistance in terms of weaponry, financial support, and enhanced sanctions. Moreover, vigilance is needed regarding China and other countries like Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, through which equipment is supplied to Russia.

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