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Ukraine War Drones Lose Pivotal Role As Artillery Rules

International Business Times

The Ukrainian army's astute use of drones has been a cornerstone of its defence against the powerful Russian invader, but experts say their role is beginning to fade as heavy artillery takes over. In the early phase of the war, Ukraine's sky seemed filled with the remote-controlled aircraft deployed by President Volodymyr Zelensky's army to spy on the enemy, or go on the attack. During Moscow's early advance on Kyiv "it would have been extremely challenging for Ukraine to block (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's army without drones", said Paul Lushenko, a US Army Lieutenant Colonel and PhD student at Cornell University. "They could compound or exacerbate Putin's strategic and logistical challenges," he told AFP. The Turkish-made Bayraktar drone, known as TB-2, already famous worldwide, added to its stellar reputation during the defence of Ukraine's capital. On top of providing intelligence on Russian movements, drones also helped Ukraine offset much of its air force's weakness compared to that of Russia.


Russian oil refinery near Ukraine says it was hit by drone attack

Al Jazeera

A drone attack has hit a major Russian oil refinery near the border with Ukraine, the plant's management said, sending a ball of flame and black smoke billowing into the sky and prompting the suspension of operations. Officials at the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia's Rostov region said the first drone attacked at 8:40am (05:40GMT), hitting a crude distillation unit, triggering a blast and ball of fire. The second attack, at 9:23am, targeted crude oil reservoirs at the refinery, the largest supplier of oil products in southern Russia, but caused no fire, according to plant management. No one was reported injured. Russian regions bordering Ukraine have reported attacks and shelling after Moscow sent its troops into its neighbour on February 24 for what it still calls a "special military operation".


Brent crude climbs above $120 a barrel as China eases lockdowns

Al Jazeera

Oil climbed to a two-month high as China eased anti-virus lockdowns and the EU worked on a plan to ban imports of Russian crude. Brent crude rose above $120 a barrel, building on last week's 6% rally, to reach the highest intraday level since late March. China's key commercial hub of Shanghai allowed all manufacturers to resume operations from June, while officials said Beijing's coronavirus outbreak is under control. European Union leaders intend to reach a political agreement today on an embargo on Russian oil to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity. The bloc failed on Sunday to agree on a revised sanctions package.


Lithuanians crowdfund $5.4m for combat drone to Ukraine

Al Jazeera

Hundreds of Lithuanians contributed to a fundraiser to buy an advanced military drone for Ukraine in its war against Russia in a show of solidarity with a fellow country formerly under Moscow's rule. The target of 5 million euros ($5.4m) was raised in just three and a half days in Lithuania โ€“ a country of 2.8 million people โ€“ largely in small amounts to fund the purchase of a Byraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle from Turkey. Laisves TV, a Lithuanian internet broadcaster, launched the fund-raising drive. "Before this war started, none of us thought that we would be buying guns. Something must be done for the world to get better," said Agne Belickaite, 32, who sent 100 euros as soon as the effort began last week.


US, UK Agree To Enhance Defense Cooperation On Artificial Intelligence - UrduPoint

#artificialintelligence

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 27th May, 2022) The United States and the United Kingdom have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on promoting responsible development and use of artificial intelligence in defense, the US Defense Department said. The deal was concluded as part of the sixth iteration of the US-UK Defense Dialogue held in London on Thursday under the chair of US Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and UK Permanent Under Secretary for the Ministry of Defense David Williams. "The leaders signed an Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Statement of Intent, setting shared strategic objectives for the U.S. Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defence related to AI (artificial intelligence) readiness," a statement read. The agreement will boost the sides' collaboration in "maintaining and increasing interoperability and promoting values-based global leadership for the responsible development, procurement, and use of AI in defense," according to the statement.


Russia likely running short on drones, hindering key war reconnaissance strategy: UK

FOX News

National security and military analyst Dr. Rebecca Grant provides the latest on the Russia-Ukraine conflict as Putin's military continues to wither. The war in Ukraine has been driven by artillery and drone capabilities Western defense officials have advised, but according to the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense Saturday, Russia may be running low on "pivotal" unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The defense ministry said UAVs have proven vulnerable to both Ukrainian and Russian forces. But while Kyiv has relied on allied nations to continue providing military aid in its war against Moscow, heavy sanctions have prevented Russian forces from maintaining its drone needs. The drone was found to have a number of DIY modifications.


#NewProfilePic: Warning issued over viral app which hoovers data and sends it to Moscow

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new phone app which offers users a free digital avatar is taking facial-recognition quality photographs and sending them to Moscow, prompting major concerns within the cyber security community. Tens of thousands of people have already uploaded their photographs to the servers of the New Profile Pic app in return to the free avatar. However, many will be unaware that the company behind the app, Linerock Investments, is based in an apartment complex overlooking the Moscow River, beside Russia's Ministry of Defence and just three miles from Red Square. Jake Moore, Global Cybersecurity Advisor, ESET Internet Security told MailOnline that people have to be incredibly careful when uploading photographs or personal data to a brand new website. He said: 'This app is likely a way of capturing people's faces in high resolution and I would question any app wanting this amount of data, especially one which is largely unheard of and based in another country.'


Ukraine's Digital Battle With Russia Isn't Going as Expected

WIRED

When Russian president Vladimir Putin launched his full invasion of Ukraine in February, the world expected Moscow's cyber and information operations to pummel the country alongside air strikes and shelling. Two months on, however, Kyiv has not only managed to keep the country online amidst a deluge of hacking attempts, but it has brought the fight back to Russia. Even Ukrainian officials are surprised by how ineffective Russia's digital war has been. "I think that the root cause of this is the difference between our systems," says Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's 31-year-old minister for digital transformation. "Because the Russian system is centralized. And it leads to the scale of corruption and graft that is becoming increasingly apparent as the war continues."


DJI halts Russia and Ukraine sales to prevent use of its drones in combat

The Japan Times

SHENZHEN, China โ€“ Drone giant DJI Technology Co. said it will temporarily suspend business in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its products are not used in combat, making it the first major Chinese firm to cite the conflict in halting sales in Russia. Ukrainian officials and citizens have accused DJI of leaking data on the Ukrainian military to Russia -- allegations the world's largest maker of consumer and industrial drones has called "utterly false." In contrast to the many Western firms that have pulled out of Russia to protest its invasion of Ukraine, Chinese companies have stayed there, in line with Beijing's stance of refraining from criticism of Moscow over the conflict. A DJI spokesperson said on Wednesday its suspension of business in Russia and Ukraine was "not to make a statement about any country, but to make a statement about our principles. "DJI abhors any use of our drones to cause harm, and we are temporarily suspending sales in these countries in order to help ensure no-one uses our drones in combat."


Chinese Drone Maker DJI Suspends Russia, Ukraine Business

International Business Times

The world's largest drone maker DJI has said it will suspend all business operations in Russia and Ukraine, in a rare public move by a Chinese firm since Moscow's invasion of its neighbour. Russia has been hit with an avalanche of sanctions over the war and many Western multinationals have pulled out of the country. Beijing has refused to condemn the invasion, however, and Chinese companies have largely remained silent about how they will handle the impact of sanctions. "DJI is internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions," the company said in a statement on Tuesday. "Pending the current review, DJI will temporarily suspend all business activities in Russia and Ukraine." The firm did not mention sanctions on Russia.