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Ukraine is raising funds to build a strike force of 1,000 kamikaze drones to help defeat Russia

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A Ukrainian serviceman flies a drone on the outskirts of Bakhmut, eastern Ukraine on December 30, 2022.A Ukrainian soldier with a drone near Bakhmut in December 2022.

Sameer Al-Doumy/Getty Images

  • A Ukraine intelligence unit has appealed for funds to buy up to 1,000 kamikaze drones.
  • The unit said it’s creating a strike force of first-person-view drones to use as “snipers.”
  • Both Ukrainian and Russian forces have made extensive use of suicide drones in the conflict.

Ukraine is raising funds to create a strike force of kamikaze drones, its defense ministry announced on Friday.

The “Kryla,” part of Ukraine’s military intelligence service, wants a fleet of 1,000 so-called first-person-view drones to help defend its front line against Russian forces.

The defense ministry said such drones can collect intelligence information and be used as snipers from a distance of about six miles.

Funds are being raised through the “Starlife-Charity” foundation, which has helped Ukrainian forces since Russia invaded last February. 

The defense ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

In May last year, President Volodymyr Zelenksyy and vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced the start of a new fundraising project called UNITED24, saying the donations would go toward costs incurred by fighting Russia.

Fedorov announced last summer that he aimed to amass an “army of drones” to help repel Putin’s forces. 

Donations helped buy more than 1,400 drones, according to UNITED24’s website.

Both Ukrainian and Russian forces have made extensive use of suicide drones, with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones responsible for much of Russia’s bombardment of civilian areas and energy infrastructure. 

In November, Ukraine pleaded with the US for more powerful drones and anti-drone missiles that cost about $10 million each, Reuters reported.

The US has extended almost $20 billion of military aid to Ukraine since the war started, according to the State Department.

Ukraine’s National Guard issued a video in late December showing what appear to be the last moments of several “suicide” drones as they hit Russian armored vehicles in a devastating attack. 

Ukraine said on January 16 that it used a drone to steal a radio from a dead Russian fighter in December, allowing it to listen in on the enemy’s plans for several days. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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