“Do not to launch the UAV or it will be shot down.”
This years seen much increased efforts to attack OSCE UAV using electronic warfare systems and attempts to shoot them down. Related to this upsurge in UAV harassment, the OSCE have given us an insight into how Russia’s forces operate in eastern Ukraine.
In their daily report published April 30th, the OSCE detail an attempt to fly a UAV in Russia-led Oleksandrivka. Located on south western edge of Donetsk city, the village is on the frontline, facing the Ukrainian held town of Marinka. This is a hotspot area with routine firing reported most days.
The text from the OSCE report.
OSCE call the Russia-led forces in eastern Ukraine “armed formations.”
“In Oleksandrivka (non-government-controlled, 20km south-west of Donetsk), two members of the armed formations, one of whom was visibly armed, approached the Mission and told it not to launch the UAV or it would be shot down, as they cited “the need to wait for confirmation from their superiors”. The SMM left the area and relocated to a different location.” (SMM – Special Monitoring Mission)
This clear unambiguous threat to shoot down a UAV tells us a great deal about the operating orders of Russia-led troops in eastern Ukraine.
1: Soldiers have been ordered to report “to their superiors” (Russian army command & control) any OSCE monitors using UAV or attempting to fly them.
2: As in this incident, should they attempt to launch one, then monitors must be stopped from doing so.
3: If the OSCE are lucky enough to get a UAV in the air, then electronic warfare systems and gunfire will attempt to bring it down.
Now, the no-shit Sherlock expression is pertinent here. If you’re abiding by the Minsk agreement and allowing the OSCE full unhindered access to monitor, then you’ve got nothing to hide. But, if you’re confronting and threatening OSCE monitors, then you’ve clearly got something to hide – such as mortars, artillery and other hardware which under the Minsk agreement (signed by Russia & Ukraine) is banned from the frontline area.