German engines found in Russian drones used by militants in Donbas
Militants in Donbas use Russian drones with German-made engines, reported the German newspaper Tagesschau with reference to the report of the UK-based investigative organization Conflict Armament Research (CAR).
Over a three-year period, CAR studied six different models of Russian military drones and one non-military model used in eastern Ukraine. The drones were captured in the conflict zone. The work was funded by the EU and the Foreign Office in Berlin.
The report says the drones are assembled in Russia, but components such as cameras and engines often come from other countries, including Germany. A reconnaissance drone with the number 2166, which was shot down by the Ukrainian military in February 2017, had a German engine.
CAR experts have found in the drone a single-cylinder 3W-55i engine produced by the German company 3W-Modellmotoren Weinhold GmbH, based in Hanau, Hesse. The company reported that in October 2013 the engine was shipped to the company the World Logistics Group in the Czech Republic. The Czech company did not respond to expert requests.
According to the Commercial Register of the Czech Ministry of Justice, the company was liquidated in 2018. As CAR found out, the three managing directors were Russian citizens, and one of them was associated with the security agencies in Russia. However, this is sufficient to prove that World Logistics Group acted on behalf of Russia, experts say.
According to CAR, tracking the components of Russian UAVs showed that the Russian defense and security agencies buy foreign technologies through Russian independent electronics and components dealers.