I had the chance to see a fuller video of the presumed Bayraktar strike. A lot of things look weird:
- It appears that the entire crew ran away after some kind of explosion. Considering the warhead of the Bayraktar, that should not be possible.
- The footage seems to have been filmed from pretty much right above the position (but maybe there was a second, reconnaissance drone filming!).
- The flagwaving inside the Ukraine is reaching truly fantastic proportions, way more than just following the destruction of a single D-30 artillery piece. They are clearly preparing for war (with songs with lyrics like “Bandera is my father, the Ukraine my mother, and I will fight for them” sung by many different groups of people and all over the Ukie media).
- That artillery piece was neither dug in nor camouflaged.
- The Ukies are all over the place with their “information” – they said that the drone was deep inside LDNR airspace only to then declare that its missile was fired from outside LDNR airspace.
- So far neither the LDNR nor the Russians have confirmed that there was a Bayraktar strike (at least as far as I know as of now).
- The explosion itself looks pretty small to me, and I see now secondary detonations from the D-30 shells which must have been pretty close.
And I won’t even go into the fact that the Russian EW systems can track any takeoff from any Ukie base, at least in the eastern Ukraine for sure, and that they have the proven capacity to 1) fry the Bayraktars 2) shoot them down and even 3) force them to land.
The reports from the LDNR do confirm that some strikes did occur, at least two. They also confirm that the Ukies entered the “grey” separation zone.
Frankly, to me this all looks like mostly a political show.
This does not make anything better, by the way, because even if no Bayraktar strikes against the LDNR have occurred (God only knows where this footage was filmed, and we know about the Israelis using footage from Libya to claim that they destroyed a Pantsir in Syria!) the fact that the Ukies are seriously flagwaving means that they, at least, “take full ownership” of that story, even if it is fake.
So whether this is a fake or not is secondary. The crucial thing is that the Ukies have now OFFICIALLY declared that they attacked the LDNR in total violation of all the agreements they signed.
Personally, I think that EVEN IF this is a fake, Russia should declare a no-fly zone over the LDNR, which they can do from Russia, no need to move even a single soldier or piece of gear across the Russian border.
So fake or not fake – the Russians should respond as if it was absolutely real.
We should know more by tomorrow.