Russia is buying engines from China’s AliExpress to make ‘quick and dirty’ drones that are proving lethal, Ukraine says – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Russia is buying engines from China’s AliExpress to make ‘quick and dirty’ drones that are proving lethal, Ukraine says

A Ukrainian soldier of the 28th brigade launches a drone at the frontline close to Bakhmut, Ukraine, in August 2023.

AP Photo/Libkos

Russia is making drones using engines from AliExpress, a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said.
Ukraine learned this from the debris of drones used in Russia’s invasion, he said.
Drones have been a huge part of Russia and Ukraine’s fight, but both sides struggle to have enough.

Russia is making lethal drones using engines from Chinese e-commerce giant AliExpress, a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said.

Yurii Ihnat said that Ukraine knows Russia is making drones with the engines due to the debris left by damaged and destroyed UAVs.

“We have the scraps, we have the debris, and we can see what the enemy is using to make them,” Ihnat said, according to Ukrainian outlet Pravda.

“The engines were actually bought from AliExpress, and this is how the enemy is going to use them.”

Drones have played a huge role in both countries’ fight since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, used for reconnaissance, hitting troops and equipment

But despite this, both sides have had limitations in their supply of military drones: Ukraine often uses civilian-grade drones, usually obtained through crowdfunding. Meanwhile, Russia is limited in where it can buy its drones due to international sanctions.

Ihnat said Ukraine has previously seen Russia using makeshift drones: “This is not the first time this aircraft has been made from simple materials, quick-and-dirty, as they say, and launched towards our country.”

But he warned they were still a threat to Ukraine.

“Nevertheless, it’s dangerous.”

“This UAV is an attack type; it carries several kilograms of explosives, so it poses a danger.” One kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds.

The BBC reported that both Russia and Ukraine may struggle to secure drones and drone parts from China that they have been using in the war, because China restricts their export.

China, which has not condemned Russia’s invasion and has kept supporting Russia financially, says its drones should not be used for military purposes. 

Both countries are constantly seeking a reliable supply of drones for the war.

Russia has relied on Iran to get drones that it is using in Ukraine and is reportedly working to mass produce a version of an Iranian drone in Russia that would allow them to continue their attacks without worrying about international supplies or relations.

Ukrainian companies are also making their own drones, and the government is backing projects to try and increase domestic production.

A Ukrainian government minister said last month that the country is creating an “army of drones” and that he thinks the country’s production will grow one hundred times above its level in 2022.

AliExpress did not immediately reply to a request from Insider for comment. 

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