Russia acquires Chinese drones for Ukraine war
According to German magazine Der Spiegel, Russia is in discussions with a Chinese drone manufacturer, Xi’an Bingo Intelligent Aviation Technology, to supply self-explosive drones for use in Ukraine.
The report suggests that Russia’s military is negotiating with the manufacturer to build and test 100 prototype ZT-180 drones, which can carry between 35 to 50 kilograms of explosives, before delivering them to Russia by April 2023.
Furthermore, the Chinese manufacturer is also said to be planning to provide Russia with components and knowledge to enable local production of the drones.
When contacted by Spiegel, the Chinese foreign ministry denied providing armament supplies to Russia, but did not address the specific allegation regarding the drones.
However, the ministry did highlight that NATO nations, including the United States, are the largest source of weaponry for the battlefield in Ukraine.
Recently, on the first anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine, the United States accused China of considering arming Russia, stating that China was “considering providing lethal support” to Moscow, including “ammunition to the weapons themselves”.