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Unknown Drones Fly Over Ukrainians Training on Leopard Tanks in Germany​, After Year of Debate the Problem is Still Unsolved

Ukrainian soldiers training with Leopard 1A5 in Germany, summer 2023 / Photo credit: Reuters
Ukrainian soldiers training with Leopard 1A5 in Germany, summer 2023 / Photo credit: Reuters
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Bundeswehr suspects russia is behind the espionage over its training grounds, yet no effective countermeasure has been deployed, buried under paperwork

Almost weekly, German military personnel witness aerial vehicles of unknown origin flying over military areas, especially active near the facilities where Ukrainian soldiers undergo training on Leopard 1 main battle tanks.

Despite the unsanctioned flights having been recorded since October 2022, and suspicions of russia being behind these activities, there is no effective counteraction on the German side, Bild reports. According to the authors, the German army has known for "quite a long time" about the problem with UAVs loitering around Bundeswehr's closed-access military facilities.

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Ukrainian soldiers training with Leopard 1A5 in Germany, summer 2023
Ukrainian soldiers training with Leopard 1A5 in Germany, summer 2023 / Photo credit: Reuters

Back in October 2022, General Carsten Breuer, then commander of the Territorial Command, was "frightened by drone alarm reports." He ordered to field military police personnel with HP 47 anti-drone jamming guns. However, as soon as Gen. Breuer was promoted to Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, there was no longer anyone to take care of the drone problem.

So far, Bundeswehr is only guessing that russia could be behind it, since none of the UAVs has been downed and investigated, nor any of the drone pilots have been arrested, thus no evidence at hand.

Later in November 2023, Bundeswehr made up a task force to counter the suspicious drones, led by Brigadier General Wolfgang Jordan. Two months in action, the group did not achieve any tangible results, Bild notes. The reason is they are still struggling to divide responsibilities with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and which equipment they should use against the UAVs.

At the same time, Bild quotes Minister of Defense of Germany Boris Pistorius who used to say: "We must be ready for war," and "We must not allow russia to spy on military training areas with drones and get us tangled up in the jurisdiction muddle."

Ukrainian air difference operators mastering Patriot anti-missile systems in Germany, February 2023
Ukrainian air difference operators mastering Patriot anti-missile systems in Germany, February 2023 / Photo credit: Bundeswehr
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