How Teen Helped Stop Russian Army Convoy Near Kyiv
When the Russian army threatened to invade Kyiv at the end of February, they faced fierce resistance from the Ukrainian army. A Russian convoy headed from the west to the capital was even completely knocked out. Courtesy of a 15 year old drone pilot.
The convoy, carrying heavy army trucks and tanks, was approaching the capital from the west. But a few tens of kilometres before Kyiv, where they were waiting for the green light to attack the city, they were attacked and knocked out by the Ukrainian army. However, the Russians had dug in well. But that was without counting 15-year-old Andrii Pokrasa.
The teenager is passionate about drones. “He was the only one who had experience with drones in the region,” said Commander Yurii Kasyanov. So we risked putting him in. Despite his young age. And with success. “He’s a real hero.”
To be clear, Andrii has never been in danger at any time, Commander Kashanov emphasizes. “The Ukrainian army urgently needed the GPS coordinates of the Russian attackers,” said Andrii Pokrassa, who flew his drone high over the area to capture images of Russian troops.
Before the Russian army realized they were being spied on from the air, the teenager called his drone back to the field where he left it. “It was a drone that the Ukrainian army had provided. My own drone doesn’t get that high and that far. It took some getting used to, but it all went pretty smoothly.”
His father later passed on the GPS coordinates to the army and shortly afterwards the Russian column at Berezivka, about 40 kilometres west of Kyiv, was attacked and disabled.
Since then, about 1,000 civilian drone operators have volunteered to assist the military. Not with their own drone, but with drones that the army makes available and that have a much longer range.
Andrii Pokrasa has never received any training, however. With the money he and his father made buying and selling cryptocurrencies, he bought his first mini drone last summer and started flying it every day. He tries not to think that dozens of Russian soldiers may have died thanks to the information he was able to give to the Ukrainian army. “They are the attackers, not us,” he says.