Iran Sends Drone Trainers to Crimea to Aid Russian Military
A U.S. drone trainer is seen in a training room in Crimea, March 1, 2014
By John Walcott
The Russian military is training its drones on the ground in and around Crimea, the result of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. It was revealed in a leaked cable from the U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom. It shows that Russia is willing to sell its drones to Ukraine and neighboring countries, as part of a new arms deal.
According to the cable, Ukraine has been trying to develop its own drones for some time, but “the Russian offer of training drones may prove very useful against Ukrainian targets.”
Russia appears to be training Ukrainian and other foreign military drones at its military base in Crimea. It is possible this could be a tactic to show it is not a threat to Ukraine or other neighboring nations, and could provide a pretext for military intervention against Russian-backed governments in eastern Ukraine. If that happens, Russia could be left with drones it didn’t expect to have.
The cable was sent from the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research to the U.S. Embassy in London by a U.S. civilian with the rank of a Special Assistant. The U.S. Embassy would not comment on classified or other secret information.
The U.S. and all other nations have signed a UN resolution to ban the development, production and sale of all drones. The U.S. is the only country in the world that allows such production and sales. However, the UN resolution does not ban “non-lethal” drones, such as the drones the Russian military is now allegedly training on the ground in Crimea.
It is possible that other countries besides the United States, like China, Iran, Israel and the UK, are now doing the same. They have their own drones.
In January, the Russian military was training its drones on the ground in and around