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Der Spiegel: China may provide Russia with drones

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2023 6:03 AM 1 min read
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According to information obtained by German news outlet Der Spiegel, Russia's military is discussing the mass production of kamikaze drones for Russia with Chinese drone manufacturers.

Chinese drone manufacturer Xi'an Bingo Intelligent Aviation Technology has reportedly agreed to produce and test 100 ZT-180 prototype drones before delivering them to Russia by April 2023.

Der Spiegel added that the drone manufacturer intends to send components and instruction so that Russia can produce 100 such drones per month itself.

The news outlet said Bingo intends to "falsify shipping documents to make the parts for military aircraft appear to be replacement for civilian aviation."

Earlier on Feb. 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is considering releasing intelligence it believes shows that China is examining whether to supply weapons to support Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“Until now,” a senior western official said, there “has been a certain amount of ambiguity about what practical help China might give Russia.” The official said that the intelligence the U.S. and its allies have now is “much less ambiguous,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

"That China might provide lethal weapons to Russia — based on new intelligence — is a marked departure from the more general dual-use goods that Chinese companies have been providing over the past year," according to U.S. and European officials. The officials declined to provide details.

China's Foreign Ministry denied any plans to provide lethal aid to Moscow for use in the Ukrainian war, and blamed the United States and NATO for spreading what it called false information about China's involvement on Feb. 22, reports CNN.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin added that NATO should “stop smearing China with unfounded speculations on Ukraine, abandon the old Cold War mentality of zero-sum game and bloc confrontation, and stop fomenting confrontation.”

This comes as China's top diplomat Wang Yi was pictured meeting with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Feb. 22.

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