- A Ukrainian official took a photo with the maker of Bayraktar drones, calling them “super weapons.”
- Mykhailo Podolyak was in Istanbul for peace talks with Russia that took place on Tuesday.
- The drones have a heroic reputation in Ukraine as they have destroyed many Russian tanks.
A top official from Ukraine posted a selfie with the maker of Bayraktar drones, expressing his gratitude for the “super weapons” Ukraine has attributed to shooting apart columns of Russian tanks.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, posted the photo on Twitter on Tuesday showing him with Haluk Bayraktar, CEO of Turkish company Baykar.
Podolyak wrote that Russian tanks “burned flawlessly” thanks to the weapon. “And they will continue to burn, as Bayraktars ideally perform any task – imperceptible, terrifying, destructive.
“I will always be grateful to the author and father of superweapons @haluk.”
—Mikhailo Podoliak (@Podolyak_M) March 29, 2022
Podolyak posted the image from Istanbul, where he was part of the peace talks with Russia that took place on Tuesday.
Podolyak deleted an earlier version of the tweet that had identical wording but showed him and Bayraktar in a bar, rather than the beachfront location in the above tweet.
According to Forbes, Ukraine bought at least 21 Bayraktar TB2-armed drones before the war broke out. The country’s defense ministry claimed to have received more from them in early March.
Ukraine’s defenses have shown the drones are capable in their highest-stakes conflict to date. Ukrainian authorities have touted them as a linchpin in the country’s defense against Russian military targets, as in these videos posted to Facebook in mid-March:
The drones can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet and fly for 27 hours continuously, according to their manufacturer. They can be remotely controlled to a distance of up to 185 miles, with each carrying four laser-guided bombs or missiles.
Videos posted by Ukrainian authorities on social media appear to show the devastating effect of the drones on slow-moving Russian military columns.
These apparent successes have also put the weapon at the center of Ukraine’s propaganda efforts, as Insider’s Kieran Corcoran reported.
In March, the Defense Department commissioned a popular song in praise of the weapon, which was widely shared. On Monday, the day of the 94th Academy Awards, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted the song’s video and awarded it an “Oscar:”.
—Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) March 28, 2022
In mid-March, a series of apparent Bayraktar videos were released on official Ukrainian military channels, all claiming to show the precision of Russian tanks and military infrastructure.