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Ukrainian teenager uses toy drone to help take down Russian convoy


Destruction at Azovstal steel plant in port city of Mariupol. Photo: Reuters

Destruction at Azovstal steel plant in port city of Mariupol. Photo: Reuters

Destruction at Azovstal steel plant in port city of Mariupol. Photo: Reuters

A skateboarding Ukrainian teenager has been hailed a “hero” after using a toy drone to help his country’s forces blast back Russians advancing on the capital.

Andrii Pokrasa (15) managed to spot the light of a convoy of military vehicles from his drone after being called upon to help out because of his experience with the devices.

He shared the information with the Ukrainian military, who were able to destroy the convoy.

“He was the only one who was experienced with drones in that region,” said Yurii Kasjanov, the commander of the armed forces’ unmanned reconnaissance section.

“He’s a real hero, a hero of Ukraine.”

The civil defence forces had come to him because they needed the GPS co-ordinates of the convoy.

“They provided us information where approximately the Russian column could be. Our goal was to find the exact co-ordinates and provide the coordinates to the soldiers,” Mr Pokrasa told Global News.

“It was one of the biggest columns that was moving on the Zhytomyr road and we managed to find it because one of the trucks turned on its lights for a long time.”

The details of Mr Pokrasa’s findings were sent to a territorial defence unit via social media, who were then able to stop the forces near Berezivka, which lies around 40km west of Kyiv.

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“I gave them the co-ordinates and photos, and after that they targeted the location,” he said.

“And I needed to co-ordinate more specifically where they should shell with artillery.”

Mr Pokrasa described the moment he spotted the convoy as “very, very scary”, but was determined not to let the Russians succeed in invading his town.

The incident was confirmed by both Mr Kasjanov and the boy’s parents.

Consumer drones have been used widely during the Russian invasion to document evidence of war crimes and troop movements.

Such images leave Russia with few places to hide as they are shared on social media and with Ukrainian forces.

“It’s a game-changer for the war,” Taras Troiak, head of the Federation of Drone Owners of Ukraine, told Global News. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022) 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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