DONBAS, Ukraine – Ukrainians are fighting smarter, using technologies such as tiny drones capable of destroying hundreds of tanks. Their strategy is paying off. Russian forces retreated in the face of a fierce counterattack that retook crucial areas of the Kharkiv region.
Ukraine’s success is due in part to military aid sent from the West and technology provided by private donors.
Ukrainians hope that their military’s counteroffensive in the East will mark a turning point in the war. The current operation has been so successful that the Ukrainian army has recaptured more ground in five days than the Russians have captured in the past five months.
Ambassador Oksana Markarova said, « This operation was possible thanks to the determination of the military, because our commanders, from the president to every commander on the battlefield, are so devoted to victory. »
The city of Kharkiv has been suffering daily artillery attacks for months. This city of a million people is now relatively empty and those who are left live in constant fear of dying from a Russian missile.
Now, nearby villages are feeling hopeful as Ukrainian troops push back the invaders.
Until now, Russia has had a huge lead in tanks and artillery. But the Ukrainians have figured out how to turn standard technology into a force multiplier, making a commercial drone almost equal to a Russian tank in combat power.
Ukrainian airborne soldier Oleksandyr said, « One of our soldiers, with technology, is stronger than maybe 10 or 20 Russian soldiers. »
If you are unfamiliar with warfare, you might say that there is heavy fighting going on in this area where we are located in a place called Pisky in the southern part of Donetsk province. And while the artillery barrages were nearly constant for the several hours that CBN News was in the area, it doesn’t necessarily qualify as a pitched battle.
That’s because the Russians fire artillery pretty much all day, all night. They have an almost unlimited supply. But in reality they are not gaining anything and that is because the Ukrainians are fighting smarter. And by doing so, they can keep the Russians at bay, even as the Russians outnumber them about 50 to one.
Oleksandyr told us, « Technology now, it’s good. When you have a mobile phone and you can fight with technology. That helps us win. »
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A Russian tank costs about $4.5 million to build, while a standard drone costs just over $1,000. Since these tiny drones are responsible for destroying hundreds of tanks, that makes them invaluable to these Ukrainian airborne soldiers.
A Ukrainian airborne unit commander nicknamed “Bear” told us: “Rather than fight Russian tanks head-to-head, we use drones to pinpoint enemy positions, then relay this information to our long-range artillery. . The only thing we need is more ammo. If we have enough ammo, the enemy won’t stand a chance. »
Many of these drones and internet systems have been donated courtesy of individuals who have contributed to crowdfunding projects. For these troops who have fought continuously since the beginning of the war, this brings hope that they will soon be able to return to their loved ones.
Bear explained, « I tell my girls, ‘I love you so much, that’s why I’m staying here.’ My eldest daughter said, ‘Dad, did you get shot?’ and I said, ‘No, the Russians don’t have the budget for that this year.' »
Oleksandyr said: « I’m absolutely sure we will win, but maybe it’s not this month, maybe not at the end of this year, but it’s as soon as possible. »