• More than a half dozen US drone startups have donated or sold equipment to Ukraine, WSJ reported.
  • Ukrainian officials questioned whether Chinese alternatives had impeded military defences, per WSJ.
  • It follows calls for the Chinese manufacturer, DJI, to stop doing business with Russia.

Brinc Drones and Skydio, two US-based firms, have been donating or selling scores of drones to Ukraine, a report says.

The companies stepped up after Ukrainian officials raise concerns that the Chinese drone maker DJI may have intentionally created "technical glitches" in its products to impair Ukraine's defence, according to a WSJ report. DJI has denied these claims, the outlet added.

DJI, Brinc Drones, and Skydio did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

The news comes after Ukrainian officials called for the Chinese manufacturer to "stop doing business" with Russia last month via Twitter.

Since last month, Brinc has donated 10 drones and sold an additional 50 for Ukraine's State Emergency Service to use, according to WSJ. Sykdio has also donated dozens of drones to Ukraine's Ministry of Defence and sold "hundreds" to NGOs that back Ukraine, the report says.

More than a half dozen US startups have donated or sold drones to Ukraine to help with search and rescue missions and intelligence gathering, WSJ reported.

Joining US startups in providing Ukraine with drones, the Pentagon announced on Thursday that it will be sending 121 "Phoenix Ghost" drones to Ukraine as part of their $800 million arms package, as Insider's Alia Shoaib reported.

Ukraine's minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted on March 16: "In 21 days of the war, russian troops has already killed 100 Ukrainian children. They are using DJI products in order to navigate their missile. @DJIGlobal are you sure you want to be a partner in these murders? Block your products that are helping russia to kill the Ukrainians!"

Fedorov also posted an open letter to the CEO at DJI alongside the tweet. It read: "The Russian army uses an extended version of DJI Aeroscope which were taken from Syria. The distance is up to 50 km." 

DJI posted a response on Twitter and said all its products are designed for civil use and "do not meet military specifications." It also called their use for military purposes "inappropriate."

It added: "DJI has not changed the functionality of our AeroScope system in any way in Ukraine, and many Ukrainian AeroScope units are still functioning."


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