From surveillance to search-and-rescue, consumer drones are having a huge impact on the country’s defense against Russia.
- Since putin invaded Ukraine at the end of February, drones of all shapes and sizes have been used by both sides in the war.
- At one end of the scale are large military drones that can be used for aerial surveillance and to attack targets on the ground. In contrast, small commercial drones can be flown by people without any specific training and carried around in a suitcase-sized box. While both types of drones have been used in previous conflicts, the current scale of small, commercial drone use in Ukraine is unprecedented.
- Valerii Iakovenko, the founder of Ukrainian drone company DroneUA, estimates that Ukrainian forces are operating more than 6,000 drones for reconnaissance and says these can link up with Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite systems to upload footage.
“Drones changed the way the war was supposed to be. It is all about intelligence, collecting and transferring data about enemy troops’ movements or positionings, correcting artillery fire. It is about counter-saboteurs’ actions, and it is of course search-and-rescue operations. In 2014, drones became the center of attention of intelligence units, but their scale cannot be compared to what we see today,” say Valerii Iakovenko.
“This is one of the first cases we have had where drones have collected so much really applicable information for war crimes investigations against civilians,” civilian drone researcher Faine Greenwood says.
Read more via WIRED
- Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
- MacPaw Development Fund
- Army SOS, which develops drones;
- Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
- Help on the Ministry of Defense website.