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What are ‘kamikaze’ drones?

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Kamikaze drones have showered down on Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv

‘Kamikaze’ drones were launched by Russian forces into Kyiv, killing at least four people and injuring many more.

The drones have destroyed civilian areas, far from the front lines of the war because of their ability to hover and attack unnoticed.

The ‘kamikaze’ drones appear to be Iranian-made and are believed to include an Iranian-supplied weapon called the Shahed-136.

There are calls for urgent sanctions against Iran, however, Iran denies involvement.

What are ‘kamikaze’ drones?

Kamikaze drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are designed to crash into a target, causing damage or destruction.

Kamikaze drones have been used in military conflicts in recent years, and have become an increasingly popular weapon due to their low cost and ability to cause significant damage.

Credit: Bloomberg

Kamikaze drones offer a number of advantages over traditional weapons systems.

They are relatively cheap and easy to produce, and can cause significant damage to targets. Kamikaze drones are also difficult to intercept, making them a difficult target for enemy defences.

Kamikaze drones are typically outfitted with explosives, and are often remote-controlled by operators who guide them towards their targets.

An engine of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), what Ukrainian authorities consider to be an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136, are seen found after Russian strike on fuel storage facilities, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kharkiv, Ukraine October 6, 2022. REUTERS/Vitalii Hnidyi

While kamikaze drones can be used for a variety of purposes, they are most commonly used as a form of air-to-ground attack.

The drones are often described as a “loitering munition” because they hover in a designated area until a target is identified. The drones are small in size, disposable and are not easily detected in the air defence zone.

They also travel long-distances, making them hard to trace back to a source. Unlike traditional war drones, ‘kamikaze’s’ do not return to an operator, they’re purely designed to explode and detonate.

https://twitter.com/EmineDzheppar/status/1581928914871779333?s=20&t=xrfHa2WzWZ2BoCeBKZ4T7Q

Iran’s linked to kamikaze drones

The ‘kamikaze’ drones used in the recent attacks on Kyiv appear to be Iranian-made and are believed to include an Iranian-supplied weapon called the Shahed-136.

The Shahed component of the drones means they’re capable of carrying a large amount of weight, approximately 50kg, which is a lot more than traditional war drones.

The Ukrainian military and U.S. intelligence community insists Russia is using drones made by Iran.

Kamikaze drone

Earlier in the year, U.S. officials claimed Russia had purchased drones and was equipping its forces on how to operate them. Ukraine President claimed Russia bought over 2000 of the Iranian-made weapons.

There are calls for urgent sanctions against Iran, however, Iran denies any involvement.

“Iran has repeatedly declared that it is not a party in the war between Russia and Ukraine and has not sent any weapons to either side.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Spokesman Nasser Kanaani

However, Ukraine consistently claims it has recently shot down the drones in its country. They claim Russia has renamed the Shaheds to “Geran.”

Previously used in conflict

Kamikaze drones have been used in a number of military conflicts in recent years.

Kamikaze drones have been used extensively in the Syrian civil war, where they have been employed by both government forces and rebel groups.

They were first used in Syria, and have since been employed in the Israel-Gaza conflict, the war in Yemen, and other conflicts.

Kamikaze drones have also been used by terrorist groups, such as the Islamic State (IS) group, to carry out attacks.

“What you’re seeing here is a collectivisation of the bully club, or the autocrat club. Xi Jinping & Vladimir Putin… Iran is part of this club.

misha zelinsky, war correspondent

More air defence systems

Ukraine also uses kamikaze drones. They use ‘RAM II,’ developed through crowd funding in Ukraine. While the U.S. has been supplying numerous forms of aerial defence to the war-torn nation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is pleading for more.

Ukrainian officials are pleading with their Western allies to supply further air defence systems to help destroy the drones before they make contact.

The recent kamikaze attacks have intensified the need for further support in the air to detect and shoot down the drones.

The systems required to defend against kamikaze drones are more complex in comparison to traditional drones and missile.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Big tech caught in political drama

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Nine Google employees were escorted out of company offices in New York and Sunnyvale, California, following a sit-in protest against a cloud contract with Israel’s government.

The protest in Sunnyvale targeted Thomas Kurian’s office, CEO of Google’s cloud division, while in New York, it occupied a common area on the tenth floor.

Videos showed Google security staff and local police involved in the removal. Four workers in New York and five in Sunnyvale were reportedly detained, but details of any charges remain unverified.

 

The protest aimed to pressure Google to drop a $1.2 billion cloud computing contract known as Project Nimbus, citing concerns about its involvement with the Israel Defense Forces.

The protesters included software engineers and activists from groups opposing tech contracts with Israel. This incident reflects ongoing activism within tech companies regarding political issues, such as Israel’s actions in Gaza.

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Antitrust concerns arise for streaming sports venture

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U.S. lawmakers Jerry Nadler and Joaquin Castro expressed competition concerns regarding the planned sports streaming joint venture involving Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros Discovery.

They addressed these concerns in a letter to the CEOs of the media companies, questioning the impact on access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.

Voicing apprehension about potential consumer price hikes and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and distributors, they requested responses by April 30, urging the companies to also send their replies to the Department of Justice.

Despite the companies’ announcement in February of launching a joint sports streaming service in the autumn to attract younger viewers, the deal faces DOJ scrutiny and an antitrust lawsuit from FuboTV. While Disney and Warner Bros remained silent on the matter, Fox declined to comment.

The joint venture encompasses a broad range of professional and collegiate sports rights, including NFL, NBA, MLB, FIFA World Cup, and college competitions, offering non-exclusive access to sports networks such as ESPN, Fox Sports 1, and TNT via a new streaming app.

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Trump trial: will the jury selection impact the trial’s outcome?

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The Trump hush money trial has progressed with the selection of the first seven jurors, marking a significant step in the legal proceedings.

  • Seven jurors were selected

  • Defense and prosecution lawyers questioned potential jurors for impartiality

  • The judge warned lawyers he would not tolerate disruptions after he said Former US President Donald Trump audibly muttered during a prospective juror’s questioning

The selection of jurors is a crucial step in ensuring a fair trial, as they will ultimately decide Formers US President Donald Trump’s fate in this legal battle, as reported by Reuters.

The process of jury selection involves careful vetting of potential jurors to ensure impartiality and fairness.

Each juror’s background, beliefs, and potential biases are scrutinised to ensure they can render an impartial verdict based solely on the evidence presented in court.

With seven jurors already chosen, the selection process is expected to continue as both the prosecution and defence seek individuals who can objectively weigh the evidence.

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