30-Member Ukrainian Drone Team Stopped Russian Convoy Heading To Kyiv
One week into its invasion of Ukraine, Russia massed a 40-mile mechanized column in order to mount an attack on Kyiv from the north.
Photo Insert: The Ukrainian soldiers were equipped with night vision goggles, sniper rifles, remotely detonated mines, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras, and others capable of dropping small 1.5kg bombs.
But the convoy ground to a halt within days, and the offensive failed, in significant part because of a series of night ambushes carried out by a team of 30 Ukrainian special forces and drone operators on quad bikes, Julian Borger reported for The Guardian.
The drone operators were drawn from an air reconnaissance unit, Aerorozvidka, which began eight years ago as a group of volunteer IT specialists and hobbyists designing their own machines and has evolved into an essential element in Ukraine’s successful David-and-Goliath resistance.
However, while Ukraine’s western backers have supplied thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment, Aerorozvidka has been forced to resort to crowdfunding and a network of personal contacts in order to keep going, by getting hold of components such as advanced modems and thermal imaging cameras, in the face of export controls that prohibit them being sent to Ukraine.
The unit’s commander, Lt Col Yaroslav Honchar, gave an account of the ambush near the town of Ivankiv that helped stop the vast, lumbering Russian offensive in its tracks.
He said the Ukrainian fighters on quad bikes were able to approach the advancing Russian column at night by riding through the forest on either side of the road leading south towards Kyiv from the direction of Chernobyl.
The Ukrainian soldiers were equipped with night vision goggles, sniper rifles, remotely detonated mines, drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras, and others capable of dropping small 1.5kg bombs.