The Ukrainian military has trolled Russia with a social media video that appears to show a Russian soldier surrendering to a drone.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense shared the video in a tweet on Friday. The Ukrainian Air Force (UAF) remains heavily focused on the use of tactical and surveillance drones to assist in the nearly nine-month war with invading Russian forces. Video shared on Friday was taken from the drone’s point of view and allegedly showed a Russian soldier walking in a meadow after the surrender with his hands raised.
“[Ukrainian] Drones are the fiercest enemies of the [Russian] Occupiers,” the ministry said while tweeting the video. “But it turns out not all of them are. This one captured an occupier who realized that surrender is a chance to survive, as opposed to trying to resist the #UAF where the chance of survival is 0. Drones know.”
🇺🇦 drones are the fiercest enemies of the 🇷🇺 occupiers.
But it turns out not of all of them.
This one took into captivity an occupier that realized that surrender is a chance to survive, as opposed to attempting to resist the #UAF, where the chance of survival is 0.
Drones know. pic.twitter.com/mHU6CyVN9F
— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) November 18, 2022
Several comments on the tweet have argued that the soldier may have surrendered to ground forces rather than the drone. Towards the end of the 22-second clip, it becomes clear that the Russian soldier is walking towards a group of what are believed to be Ukrainian soldiers who are pointing guns at him.
It’s unclear what type of drone is recording the footage shared on Friday. Some of the Ukrainian military’s drones, such as the US-made Switchblade drones, are fierce offensive weapons that can easily kill troops or destroy military equipment.
Other drones deployed by Ukraine pose little direct threat. The supply of surveillance drones has been increasing since July, when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s global fundraising initiative United24 announced the creation of the Army of Drones program.
The program asks international donors to provide Ukraine with “drones” of consumer drones and monetary donations to purchase other unmanned aerial vehicles. Army of Drones has been endorsed by international celebrities such as war of stars Actor Mark Hamill.
“Ukrainians need drones to protect their country, their freedom and the values of the entire democratic world,” Hamill said after being named the program’s “ambassador” in September. “Right now is the best time for everyone to come together and help Ukraine rise up in this war with the evil empire.”
US officials estimate that Russia has suffered over 100,000 casualties during the war, and after successful Ukrainian counteroffensives, Russian troops are surrendering in increasing numbers without encouragement from enemy drones or soldiers.
Ukraine launched an “I Want to Live” campaign in September to encourage Russian troops to lay down their arms and operated a hotline and chatbot to help troops prepare for their surrender. This was announced by campaign spokesman Vitaly Matviyenko Kyiv Post this week that over 3,500 requests have been received since September 18th.
news week has reached out to the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.