Online retailers MediaMarkt and Bol.com are no longer selling drones from the Chinese brand DJI for the time being. The reason for this is the news that the Russian army would use the drones for warfare in Ukraine. The drone manufacturer calls the “totally false” accusations.
This is apparent from a tour of NU.nl.
Russian army uses DJI drones for warfare in Ukraine
Anyone who wants to buy a drone of the DJI brand via the MediaMarkt or Bol.com will be disappointed. Both webshops have removed the drones from the Chinese manufacturer from their range. This may have to do with the situation in Ukraine. It has been rumored for some time that the Russian army would use DJI drones in warfare in the country.
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov asked DJI earlier this month to cut all ties with Russia. He also wanted information on all DJI drones operating in Ukraine at the time, and whether or not DJI products of the Ukrainian government were being actively hindered. Finally, he demanded that DJI drones activated in Russia, Syria, and Lebanon be deactivated.
In response, DJI said there was little it could do about the situation because it was unable to disable the Russians’ AeroScope system remotely. Setting up a geofence – say a digital fence around Ukraine – was one of the options. All DJI drones within the Ukrainian borders will then no longer be usable. This applies to both the Russian and Ukrainian drones of the manufacturer.
Sales stop DJI drones is ‘provisional measure’
True or not, the reporting has ensured that MediaMarkt and Bol.com have taken action. According to NU.nl, the spokespersons for both companies cannot properly explain why the sale of DJI drones has been restricted.
When asked, MediaMarkt indicates that it has received several signals that the Russian army is using DJI products and data for the war in Ukraine. “We don’t want to risk in any way that we could possibly contribute to warfare. The CEO has said that we take our responsibility. This is a provisional measure that applies throughout Europe,” a spokesperson told NU.nl.
Bol.com says it does not know where the information about the use of DJI drones by Russian soldiers comes from. “It is suspicion and the evidence is thin. But for now, we are not giving the benefit of the doubt,” said a spokesperson. He points out that sales may start again in the future.
DJI denies allegations
DJI denies passing on information about the position of Ukrainian soldiers to Russia. The company calls these allegations to Reuters news agency “completely false”. “We do not support any use that harms people’s lives, rights, and interests. DJI is in favor of civil applications that benefit society,” says DJI.
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