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Ukraine’s military says it shot down one of its own drones near the capital after it ‘lost control’ of the aircraft

An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

  • A drone was shot down over the Ukrainian capital region on Thursday.
  • Thought initially to be a Russian drone, the Ukrainian military said it had to shoot down its own drone after losing control.
  • The incident comes a day after a drone incident in the Russian capital.

Ukraine’s military said it lost control of one of its combat drones on Thursday and was forced to make the decision to shoot down the unmanned aircraft over Kyiv. The incident comes amid heightened tensions and concern that Russia would retaliate over a drone incident at the Kremlin the day before that Moscow is calling an assassination attempt. 

In a statement, Ukraine’s air force said a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone was on a scheduled flight when it “lost control,” so the armed forces opted to use “mobile fire groups” to destroy the aircraft.  

“It’s a pity, but this is technology, and such cases happen,” Ukraine’s air force said. “It is probably a technical malfunction. The reasons are being established. There were no casualties or injuries as a result of combat operations and the fall of UAV wreckage.”

The unmanned aircraft was seen flying above Kyiv earlier in the evening on Thursday (local time). Videos and photographs posted to social media showed people running for cover as the drone flew overhead and what appeared to be air defense systems firing in the background in an attempt to knock it down.  

People run as a drone flies in the sky over the city amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.People run as a drone flies in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

In videos from the incident, a munition of some kind eventually hits the drone, initially believed by onlookers to be a Russian unmanned aircraft, possibly a reconnaissance drone, and it erupts into a fireball, before slowly crashing down to earth.

Footage shared to Twitter shows the moment the drone was struck, which was met by resounding cheers from onlookers. 

—Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) May 4, 2023

The Ukrainian military’s engagement of its own drone, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle that gained notoriety shortly after Russia’s invasion, was captured in a series of photos.

A drone is seen in the sky over the city amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.A drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.An explosion of a drone is seen in the sky over the city during a Russian drone strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Smoke rises over the city after remains of a shot down drone landed on buildings, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.Smoke rises over the city after remains of a shot down drone landed on buildings, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 4, 2023.

REUTERS/Stringer

The Bayraktar TB2 is made by Turkish weapons manufacturer Baykar and became a prominent symbol of Ukrainian resistance in the face of the Russian invasion early on as videos emerged of the drones wreaking havoc on columns of Russian tanks and armored vehicles.

A video posted just three days after the war began said “Bayraktar at work,” adding the warning: “Fear, enemies! You will not have peace on our land!”

Though other systems, such as the US-made High Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems or Western tanks, now receive more attention, these drones continue to play a role in Ukrainian operations.

Thursday’s incident comes amid escalatory rhetoric from Moscow after Russia claimed that two drones attacked the Kremlin on Wednesday in an attempt to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin. Moscow has blamed Ukraine for the incident, though Kyiv has denied any involvement.

Expert observers told Insider that the details of the incident in Moscow “don’t quite add up,” and war experts at the Institute for the Study of War argued that Russia “likely staged” it, pointing to oddities like the failure of the air defenses in the Russian capital to engage the drones to defend the Kremlin, one of the world’s most secure facilities. Amid the speculation, there is still a lot of mystery surrounding what exactly happened in Moscow.

Read the original article on Business Insider