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A Ukrainian drone unit used quads and night cover to ambush Russian forces, The Guardian reported.
Aerorozvidka was first created by tech-savvy, university-educated Ukrainians.
The elite unit, which carries out up to 300 missions a day, is crucial for the Ukrainian campaign.
Nighttime ambushes by a team of Ukrainian special forces and drone operators on quad bikes helped turn the tide of the Russian invasion, The Guardian reported.
Aerorozvidka is a specialized aerial reconnaissance unit within the Ukrainian military, which claimed to have destroyed dozens of Russian “priority targets”, including tanks and command trucks.
The unit’s commander, Lt. Col. Yaroslav Honchar, told The Guardian of an ambush near the Ukrainian town of Ivankiv which helped stop a 40-mile mechanized Russian column heading to attack the capital kyiv.
Equipped with night vision goggles, sniper rifles and mines and remotely triggered drones, the team of about 30 Ukrainian soldiers approached Russian forces by riding on quad bikes through the forests under cover of the night.
Some of the drones used by the unit were equipped with thermal imaging cameras, and others were capable of dropping small 1.5 kg bombs.
“That one small unit in the night destroyed two or three vehicles at the head of that convoy, and after that it got bogged down. They stayed there another two nights and [destroyed] many vehicles,” Honchar told the Guardian.
After the attack, the Russian forces redefined their strategy by splitting the column into smaller units to try to continue towards the capital.
However, the same team launched an attack on the Russians’ supply depot, which prevented them from advancing, Honchar told the Guardian.
“It all happened thanks to the work of 30 people,” Honchar told the newspaper.
Aerorozvidka was formed in 2014 by a group of young Ukrainian university graduates and IT specialists who volunteered to design their machines to help resist the Russian invasion of Crimea and the Donbass region, according to The Guardian.
It was founded by investment banker Volodymyr Kochetkov-Sukach, who was killed in action against Russian separatists in Donbass in 2015, according to the newspaper.
The unit became part of the Ukrainian General Staff following the success of its operations in Crimea.
Now the elite unit, which performs up to 300 missions a day, according to The Times of London, has played a key role in bolstering Ukrainian resistance against Russia.
Along with the attack on the Russian convoy, Aerorozvidka claims to have helped defeat a Russian attack on Hostomel airport near kyiv, The Guardian said.
Despite the unit’s apparent success, it relies on crowdfunding and donations to procure much-needed components such as advanced modems and thermal imaging cameras. These parts made in the United States and Canada are subject to export controls that prohibit them from being sent to Ukraine, The Guardian reported.
In recent weeks, supporters across Europe have donated drone parts and other equipment, such as 3D printers, to help build and repair devices damaged by Russian small arms fire, according to The Times.
Aerorozvidka operates in part using Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system, activated in Ukraine days after the invasion of Russia.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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