Ukraine’s recently-established “army of drones” successfully neutralized 200 Russian targets in just one week, the country’s digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov has announced.
More than 140 Russian tanks, armored vehicles, and military trucks were reportedly destroyed or damaged in drone attacks against the invading forces “over the past week.”
Over 30 enemy weapons, including one of its multiple launch rocket systems, were also targeted by Kyiv’s “army of drones.”
According to Fedorov, this success proves that the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) bought for a few thousand dollars can effectively strike and destroy Russian equipment worth tens of millions.
“We are advancing defense innovation further to keep our troops alive and technologically victorious on the battlefield,” he said on Telegram.
‘Army of Drones’ Program
Launched in July, Ukraine’s “Army of Drones” program is a comprehensive initiative involving the systematic purchase of drones, local maintenance, and training military personnel.
It was initiated by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Digital Transformation Ministry amid Russia’s continued aggression.
According to Fedorov, more than 1,700 drones are part of the program and were deployed to the frontline to carry out combat and reconnaissance missions.
Over 3,000 Ukrainian servicemen have also been trained to operate the UAVs.
“The army of drones will allow us to constantly monitor the 2,470-kilometer-long (1,535-mile-long) frontline and to field an effective response to enemy attacks, using modern technology,” Ukrainian military official Col. Oleksii Noskov told BBC News.
Apart from drone purchases, Kyiv is also utilizing donations from foreign allies and charitable organizations to expand its drone army.
‘Drones Are Our Eyes’
At a secret location in Ukraine, groups of aspiring Ukrainian military drone operators are being trained to fly small UAVs and search for simulated targets.
According to a report by BBC, the most common drone seen in the location was the DJI Mavic – a portable UAV with a three-axis gimbal 4K camera.
Instructor Slava, who oversees the training, emphasized the importance of unmanned vehicles in the ongoing invasion.
“Drones are our eyes. We can see the occupier very well from the top so we can adjust artillery and find and neutralize the enemy,” he told the outlet.