Russia charges top Ukrainian military leaders with ‘terrorism’ over drone strikes
The Russian government said Tuesday it will be pursuing charges against high-ranking members of the Ukrainian military for “terrorist attacks.”
The country’s Investigative Committee accused four individuals of terrorism in connection to drone strikes on Russian territory and regions of Ukraine currently being held by Russian invading forces.
Russia’s official statement named the following officials — Main Directorate of Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk, Ukrainian Naval Forces Commander Oleksiy Neizhpapa and 383rd Unmanned Aviation Brigade Commander Serhiy Burdenyuk.
The announcement — released via Telegram — shows Russia’s deep concern regarding the growing effectiveness of Ukrainian drone technology since the invasion commenced.
Ukrainian military forces have used unmanned aerial vehicles to make strikes inside Russian territory, expanding the scope of the conflict outside the frontline.
Russia has also used drone technology in the conflict, striking military targets and infrastructure assets such as grain facilities.
“With a series of carefully calibrated drone attacks over the past several weeks on and around Crimea and deeper into Russia, Ukraine has eroded Putin’s red lines of Russia-proper being off limits for Kyiv’s strikes,” Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting and a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, told Fox News Digital in September.
Areas that have suffered intense drone strikes by Ukrainian forces include the annexed region of Crimea, Moscow, Belgorod, Bryansk and Kursk.
“[Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy wants to keep going, probing Putin’s real red lines and will for a massive retaliation,” she explained. “We are at a very crucial time now in this conflict.”
The Investigative Committee intends to add the four Ukrainian military officials to its wanted list and suggests the possibility of trial in absentia, according to the message.