This is how teenager Andrey thanked the Russians for his drone: “I didn’t want to see what was happening in the areas occupied by my house”


With the help of a commercial drone, this 15-year-old Ukrainian and his father tracked and photographed the progress of tanks towards Kyiv

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Andrey Pokras, 15, shows a drone used to stop a Russian advance near his home in Ukraine.natacha pisarenkoAP
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A teenage Ukrainian drone pilot has become a national hero for helping the armed forces in the early days of the war. Andrey Pokrassaof from 15and his family lives on the outskirts Kyiv when Russia He began his offensive on 24 February with a rapid advance towards the capital.

With few drone pilots available in the area and an urgent need for intelligence, the Territorial Defense accepted Andrey’s offer of help. Using a small commercial drone, Andrey and his father provided aerial photographs showing the movements of Russian tanks, which were later given to the military to help accommodate Ukrainian artillery.

“My father and I took pictures and coordinates, then the regional defense traced the site and we handed over the photos and the location to the armed forces,” he says during a demonstration flight in the field near his home.

“With a tablet he reduced the coordinates with greater accuracy and transmitted them by walkie talkie To adjust the artillery. What I just described happened very quickly, literally in 5-7 minutes.”

Andrey, who has been piloting the drone for nearly a year, says he feared what would happen to his home if the Russians made their breakthrough. “This is my house. I didn’t want to see what was happening to my house in the occupied areas,” he says.

Andrey helped for about ten days before the situation became too dangerous, and he and his mother could be evacuated. Poland, regress a Ukraine After finishing his school year in a neighboring country. “It made me so happy to be able to contribute, to be able to do something. Not just sit and wait.”

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