Drones New Avatar: Ukraine War – OpEd


Ukraine’s army issued a step-by-step video guide for Russian soldiers on “How to Surrender to its Drones”.

Drones now operate in multifaceted roles, ranging from monitoring climate change to carrying out search operations after natural disasters, medical aid, photography, filming, and delivering goods. But their most well-known use is by the military for reconnaissance, surveillance and targeted attacks. Drones now are believed to have taken a new avatar of taking ‘Surrenders’ in the Ukraine War. Another relatively new feature in the war in Ukraine is the widespread and highly effective use of small commercial drones, many of them being operated by civilian volunteers to gather intelligence. This has contributed to increasing the situational awareness of Ukrainian forces, identifying Russian positions and monitoring troop movements. The role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, on the Ukrainian battlefield is rapidly expanding to the propaganda warfare, Psychological operations to the area of surrenders. Ukrainian forces in Kherson in southern Ukraine reportedly fitted a drone with a loudspeaker and broadcasted an appeal to surrender, apparently during the Ukrainian counteroffensive in late August.

The Drone video comes as part of Ukraine’s “I Want to Live” project, a hotline that encourages Russians who are reluctant to fight in Ukraine to surrender. The video, which is narrated in Russian, shows three men in uniform and white armbands in a trench within a snowy landscape. From there, they are led to Ukrainian captivity by a small red drone. The video claims that the goal is to make the capture process safer. (Ukrainian army’s 54th Mechanized Brigade).The first time enemy soldiers had ever surrendered to an unmanned aerial vehicle. In 1991, a group of around 40 Iraqis surrendered to a different Pioneer so Ukrainian War is not first incident that soldiers surrendered to an unmanned aerial vehicle.

In November, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that it had also used drones to transmit text messages enticing Ukrainians to surrender though it is unclear how successful the initiative has been.

Russia and Ukraine both sides have deployed thousands of drones small, off-the-shelf models costing a few thousand dollars as well as big, Predator-style models costing millions. They have also been used for the documentation of war crimes, and by journalists reporting from otherwise inaccessible war zones. Drones have excessively been used for aerial strikes against Russian forces by the Ukrainian Forces.

Drones the Winners in the Ukraine War

Clearly, the Ukrainian War has shown the versatile benefits of the technology of drones. Drones have a longer range than many of the missiles. They are cheaper, don’t require the same level of training that aircrews in manned aircraft would need, and don’t put operating troops at the comparative risk of the frontline battles.

Drones thus provide a means to penetrate deep into warring nations territories miles behind the current frontlines. Their ability to evade air defences serves as an important, morale-boosting tactical victory at low costs. Kamikaze suicidal drones  deployed by both nations are likely to be on the increase in this ‘General Winter’ to devastating effect against infrastructure and civilian targets. Russia will get the supplies of drones from Iran and Zelensky is in the US with his inventory of demands and escalations of drone operations are inevitable during this ‘General Winter’.

President Zelensky is over willing to attack Russia beyond occupied Ukrainian territories and at least tacit US approval exists. Ukrainian army’s drones undoubtedly are responsible for a large number of Russian casualties. 

Ukrainian President Zelensky’s trip to the US

Ukrainian President Zelensky’s trip to the US was shrouded in secrecy. Zelensky in an impassioned speech before US Congress said “His country would never surrender in its fight against Russia and urged Washington to ramp up military aid”. Wearing his regular wartime attire Zelensky presented a signed Ukrainian flag from the battlefront and accepted a US flag in exchange.The Ukrainian leader thanked Washington policy makers for approving tens of billions of dollars in aid for Kyiv. “Your support is crucial,” he said. But he added, “Is it enough? Honestly, not really.”

President Biden pledged to continue sending military aid to Kyiv., The Biden administration announced a new roughly $1.8 billion security-aid package for Ukraine. It includes for the first time a Patriot antimissile battery and other equipment.

As 2022 comes to a close and the war in Ukraine crosses 300 days mark. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in an article opines  that Ukraine should achieve ‘peace through negotiation’ in order to avoid a third world war. Kissinger’s premise is based on the belief that Russia is an invaluable member of the European security order and a great power that is destined to play a part in shaping events on the continent. French President Emmanuel Macron echoes the same views. But with Ukrainian President  Zelensky’s resolve to fight on and President Biden’s additional aid of around $1.8 billion will not let the war come to an early end.


  • Ukrainian army issues instructional video telling Russians how to surrender to a drone by Mia Jankowicz 

Patial RC

Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army and possesses unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Patial RC is a regular writer on military and travel matters in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.

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