The dynamics in Ukraine’s conflict have taken a surprising turn as a former ally, the Czech Republic, undergoes a notable shift in allegiance. Previously aligned with Ukraine, the Czech Republic has transitioned its stance, leading to significant consequences. This shift has included not only a shift in sentiment, with a desire to remove Ukrainians from its territory, but also the supply of drones to Russia.
Czech Republic was with Russia all this while?
A recent report sheds light on the Czech Republic’s involvement in supplying drone parts to Russia for its offensive against Ukraine. AXI Model Motors, a Czech company, denied supplying its products to the military after a Ukrainian soldier found a component manufactured by them inside a downed Russian Lancet drone. The drone bore the “Made in the Czech Republic” label and the AXI Model Motors logo.
The Lancet drone, commonly used by Russia for reconnaissance and strikes, has raised concerns due to its Czech components. Model Motors stated that its products were misused by a third party for sale to the Russian military, and measures have been taken to prevent recurrence. Czech authorities have reportedly been aware of these instances for over a year, investigating how their components reached the Russian military. The intelligence services visited Model Motors owners during the invasion’s outset, continuing the investigation.
Czech Republic’s shifting stance
This brings us to President Pavel’s notable shift in perspective. Czechia has recently altered its approach, aiming to reduce benefits for Ukrainian refugees. This adjustment has led to a decrease of over one-third in the financial support provided to Ukrainian refugees. In June 2023, humanitarian aid and solidarity grants amounted to around €71 million, dropping to about €46 million in July. Pavel’s previous strong stance against ethnic Russians and generous benefits for Ukrainian refugees faced public backlash. His recent reversal, focusing on expelling Ukrainian migrants, seems to be a reactive response to address public dissatisfaction.
Russia Attacking Ukraine with Western drones
Moreover, what seems strange is the West which stages itself as Ukraine’s all weather ally is clandestinely supplying Russia with weapons to knock down Ukrainian soldiers.
A few months ago, Russia’s deployment of Iranian drones in the Ukraine conflict garnered notice. Iranian Kamikaze drones inflicted noteworthy harm on Ukraine’s Armed Forces. These drones, including Shahed-136, were introduced during a recent Russian offensive. More than 300 Iranian drones targeted military, power, and residential sites in Kyiv. Surprisingly, these drones contained components from British, American, and Polish companies. Despite sanctions, companies like Texas Instruments provided parts. This situation exposed concerns within the Biden administration’s approach.
Western Technology Is Keeping Russia Stocked With Drones
Despite Western technology sanctions, sophisticated weaponry is still making its way to the Russian front. Records indicate Kyrgyz firms are trading drone, aircraft, and bomb parts with Russia, even as U.S.-sanctioned Kyrgyz companies were suspected of aiding Russian sanctions evasion.
Notably, Russia employs advanced weaponry like the Lancet kamikaze drone that evades radars, operates quietly, and damages heavy machinery. About 850 Lancets have been used since the war’s onset, posing a major threat to Ukraine. While reports suggested dwindling numbers, Russia continues producing and enhancing them, with Western components and equipment from Asian-friendly countries contributing to their sustained production. Despite Western bans on component imports for drones, “Lancets” are still filled with Western parts. The report from the Ukrainian President’s Office points out contributions from companies like Swiss-based Essemtec, Japan’s JSW, and China’s Jiangsu Yawei Machine in Russia’s drone production.
It’s clear that the Czech Republic’s actions, supplying drones to Russia, have hit Zelensky’s goals hard. While the West seems to impose sanctions, the reality reveals a different picture. This covert weapon trade paints a puzzling scene where Russia benefits, and Ukraine bears the brunt. Even though sanctions are preached, behind the scenes, a different game unfolds, leaving Ukraine vulnerable as Russia gains ground.