Despite requests from Volodymyr Zelenky’s Administration and a cross-party group of members of the U.S. Congress, the Biden Administration will not provide Ukraine with advanced drones, according to a reliable report by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Nov. 10.
According to the exclusive report, The Pentagon rejected the request due to concerns that supplying the Gray Eagle MQ-1C drones could amplify the war and send a message to Moscow that the U.S. was providing arms that could attack locations inside Russia itself, according to U.S. officials and others well acquainted with the matter.
Ukraine had requested over the course of several months.
According to The Wall Street Journal, American officials have occasionally expressed concerns that the drone’s technology could be taken and used against Ukraine. However, authorities claimed that these worries — that the on-board cameras might be stolen if the craft were gunned down — were not a fundamental factor in the adoption of this decision.
The report also reveals that the director of communications for General Atomics, the firm which produces the Gray Eagle, confirmed that the company had been informed of a judgement but would not elaborate further.
No immediate comment was available from Pentagon officials, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to congressional officials familiar with the briefing, 17 lawmakers sent a letter to the government in September urging it to speed up its motion for reconsideration to provide Gray Eagles. This prompted a status report on Capitol Hill about the course of action.
The government has been urged by members of Congress from both main parties to provide Kyiv with medium average elevation, armed drones that have a flight time of more than 24 hours, the newspaper report reveals.
In a letter sent in September, lawmakers from both parties stated the following: “While important, thorough risk assessments and mitigation should not come at the expense of Ukrainian lives”.
The Kremlin announced on Wednesday, Nov. 9, that it would be pulling out its troops from the southern city of Kherson and the surrounding areas.
But the report also underlines that Ukrainian officials warned that Russia’s credibility should be questioned, and that many Russian soldiers are still in Kherson: Mykola Murskyj, director of government affairs for the American aid organisation Razom for Ukraine, had this to say about how not sending Ukraine military drones creates difficulties for its soldiers when defending infrastructure and innocent citizens whom Russia has specifically targeted throughout the course of its war on Ukraine:
“It means Ukrainian soldiers have to put their lives at risk to take out artillery positions that are bombing Ukrainian towns and villages….Ukrainians have shown they are capable and responsible stewards of the military aid that we, the U.S. provide them.”