Drones set for bigger war role after Kyiv given €19m in donations

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Drones are set to play an increasingly important role in the Ukraine war. 

Last month Kyiv launched a campaign asking for money to buy drones and as well as the donation of any smaller devices that were no longer needed. 

More than $20 million (€19.3m) was raised and will be put towards purchasing 200 “tactical unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicles”.

“These ‘birds’ can fly up to 24 hours, up to 160 km, at an altitude of up to 5 km,” says the Ukraine government website co-ordinating the fundraising. “They are equipped with several thermographic cameras with GPS modules and mapping software. 

“The key thing is that they are hard to spot, which means they are hard to get knocked down. These drones will help constantly monitor the front line and identify the aggressor’s positions.”

Ukraine says it has also received donations of small devices — with young children even donating their toy drones.

Drones are already playing a role on the battlefield, such as in Mykolaiv, which is 100 kilometres from Russian-occupied Kherson. Here, they are used to monitor the movement of Russian forces as Moscow attempts to take more territory. 

Meanwhile, in late July, a small explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula, wounding six people and prompting the cancellation of ceremonies there honouring Russia’s navy, according to authorities.