Ukrainian defenders down Chinese-made Mugin-5 drone in Donetsk Oblast, CNN

16 March, 02:02 PM
Chinese drone Mugin-5 (Photo:CNN)

Chinese drone Mugin-5 (Photo:CNN)

Ukrainian soldiers have shot down a retrofitted and weaponized Chinese-made Mugin-5 drone on March 11, CNN reported in an exclusive.

This could be the first use of a Chinese drone in the war, while the Ukrainian government looked to downplay the incident by saying that it had seen no evidence of Chinese weapons being used in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Ukrainian agents in Russia-occupied areas warned Ukrainian defenders of the drone launch on March 11, Ukraine’s SBU security service told CNN.

Video of day

The units near Slovyansk were alerted

At around 2 a.m., soldiers from the 111th Brigade of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces heard the sound of a drone and saw a light blinking. The fighters opened fire with AK-47 automatic guns, downing the drone, CNN reports.

Mugin-5 drones, also known as ‘Alibaba drones’ due to their availability on Chinese e-marketing platform Alibaba and their reasonable price, are manufactured in Xiamen, China.

The company confirmed that its airframe was used in the attack, noted that the drone had been modified, and called the incident “deeply unfortunate”, adding that it condemns using its products for war purposes.

The weaponized commercial drone wasn't equipped with a camera, so it couldn't have been used for reconnaissance.

It was likely some kind of "dumb bomb," believes Chris Lincoln-Jones, a retired British Army officer and drone warfare specialist.

The price of such drones is very cheap for military equipment, Lincoln-Jones told CNN. It demonstrates the lack of Russia's military superpower everyone might have expected of it.

The Mugin-5 drone was modernized with a 3D printed bomb trigger, experts said.

The U.S. and its allies have repeatedly claimed in the past weeks that China is mulling over military aid for Russia. Reports say that China is considering sending drones, ammunition, and artillery to Russia.

Beijing denies these claims, while Kyiv also doesn't see any evidence that the Russian army possesses any Chinese weapons.

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