Ukrainian Citizens Called on to Donate Hobby Drones in Fight Against Russian Invasion

BY Zacc Dukowitz
1 March 2022

Ukrainian citizens who own drones have been asked to use them to help fend off the ongoing Russian invasion.

The effort is the result of a call from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense.

In a recent Facebook post, the military called for all Ukrainians in the city of Kyiv who own a hobby drone to either donate it or fly it themselves to help monitor Russian troop activities around the city.

ukraine-facebook-post-drones

Ukrainian drone pilots located in and around Kyiv have been asked to share:

  • The district of the city where they are located
  • How much flying experience they have
  • The type of drone(s) they have to contribute
  • The number of batteries they have
  • Whether they have served in the Army
  • Their contact information

This appeal was first made on Friday, February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Since then Ukrainian forces have managed to hold the city of Kyiv and stand their ground in this incredibly lopsided fight.

A significant part of the effort to repel the invading Russians has been to call on private citizens to help, either by signing up to join the military, or by preparing themselves to fight for their homes with Molotov cocktails and other homemade weapons—and also by donating their drones to help surveil invading forces.

Since the Facebook post was put up it has garnered several comments, including a flood of offers to send drones to support the effort.

There have also been further calls for donations of batteries and other drone supplies, like this one made on LinkedIn by drone pilot Jacob Cereteli:

ukraine-linkedin-drones

All of these calls for hobby drones seem to be making an impact—here’s a picture from a thread on Twitter, apparently showing a cache of DJI drones being received by Ukrainian soldiers.

dji-ukraine-drones

Another Idea Emerges for Hobby Drones in Ukraine

Following the call for Ukrainians to donate their drones made late last week, another idea emerged for how those in Kyiv could use drones to defend themselves.

The idea is simple—arm them with explosives.

In January, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) banned consumer drones throughout the country following a reported attack on one of its oil facilities, in which a consumer drone was reportedly used to carry explosives.

Mexican cartels in Mexico have reportedly used drones armed with grenades to carry out attacks on rivals. There have also been reports of drones used this way in some of the fighting that’s taken place with separatists in eastern Ukraine.

drones-explosives
Credit: Policia Federal de Mexico

A Turkish newspaper called the Daily Sabah recently shared the news that a Turkish man has been calling for Ukrainians to use consumer drones this way to defend themselves.

They can arm basic drones with hand grenades or Molotov cocktails . . . there are hundreds if not thousands of drones on sale.

– The Daily Sabah

According to the story, the man first shared these ideas on Twitter.

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