In the first days after Russia invaded Ukraine, a 15-year-old drone enthusiast turned into a Ukrainian hero after using his personal drone to monitor Russian troops advancing on his town, transmitting their coordinates to defense forces near Kyiv, according to a report.
The information led Ukrainian forces to attack the convoy of Russian soldiers and stop their invasion of Kyiv, according to a report by Global News. The Canadian media said it confirmed the report with the boy’s parents, as well as the senior official of the Ukrainian drone owners group and a commander of a Ukrainian army unmanned reconnaissance unit.
“He was the only one with experience with drones in this area,” Commander Yurii Kasjanov said. World News. “He is a real hero, a hero of Ukraine.”
The teenager, identified as Andrii Pokrasa, said he was asked by civil defense officials to help provide GPS coordinates of Russian troops heading for the capital. Ukrainian troops then used this information to bombard their position.
“They provided us with information about the approximate location of the Russian column. Our goal was to find the exact coordinates and provide the coordinates to the soldiers,” he said.
The teenager said he started flying the commercial drone last year, but once the war started, neighbors feared the hobby would make the area a target. Pokrasa and his father then started flying it from a field at night.
It was during a night flight that the teenager spotted the Russian convoy stopped on a highway from the Belarusian border, about 40 km west of Kyiv and only about two km from his position.
“It was one of the biggest columns moving on Zhytomyr road and we managed to find it because one of the trucks had its headlights on for a long time,” Pokrasa told the outlet.
Drones, including commercial ones, have increasingly been a game-changer in Ukraine’s ground war.
“Drones have been the great equalizer. They are a force multiplier, they can completely help level the playing field,” Draganfly CEO and co-founder Cameron Chell recently said. FLYING. “Literally, you can set up a $2,000 consumer drone and now you have reconnaissance, you have troop coordination, they can drop grenades. It’s crazy,” he said.
Draganfly’s medical response drones, which are equipped with a temperature-controlled payload box capable of carrying up to 35 pounds of medical supplies, such as blood, insulin and antibiotics, are currently deployed in Ukraine.
Drones have also proven to be a powerful addition to Ukraine’s air defenses.
Turkish manufacturing Bayraktar TB2, for example, played a vital role in the defense of Ukraine. The drones are capable of carrying up to four laser-guided munitions that have a reputation for being effective against ground targets, such as Russian tanks and mobile air defense systems. They have a flight range of up to approximately 186 sm and can fly for up to 27 hours at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet. Take-off, landing and flight controls are fully automated.
In April, a 1,500-pound TB2 drone was recognized as part of a Ukrainian operation that sank the Soviet-era guided-missile destroyer Moskva.