TechFatal mishap: Russian soldier's drone handling ends in tragedy

Fatal mishap: Russian soldier's drone handling ends in tragedy

A Russian soldier is throwing a damaged Ukrainian improvised "kamikaze" drone.
A Russian soldier is throwing a damaged Ukrainian improvised "kamikaze" drone.
Images source: © X (formerly Twitter) | Ukrainian Front

1:48 AM EST, November 30, 2023, updated: 2:01 AM EST, November 30, 2023

The Ukraine war raises many startling situations that can serve as an illustration of incorrect handling of weapons or explosives. We highlight one such incident and explore the concept of improvised "kamikaze" drones.

Within the Ukraine conflict, there have been numerous incidents of Russian soldiers mishandling weapons, including grenade throws and attempts to load mortar shells backward. These events have often been captured in internet videos.

In our present case, a Russian soldier attempted to throw an improvised Ukrainian "kamikaze" drone out of a trench without disarming it first. Regrettably for him, this act ended with grave consequences, possibly even death.

Contrastingly, Ukrainians usually disarm captured Russian drones first. This usually involves detaching a bomblet or PG-7VL grenade with an impact fuse secured with plastic explosives and/or adhesive tape.

Improvised "kamikaze" drones: A rising terror for soldiers

Both Ukrainian and Russian soldiers employ commercial drones, valued under 1,000 dollars, with various explosive charges attached. Pilots use virtual or augmented reality goggles to guide these drones, displaying a first-person view within approximately 0.62 miles, targeting individual soldiers, infantry fighting vehicles, or T-72 or T-90M tanks.

The cost-effectiveness of these drones is astounding, though they are vulnerable to electronic warfare systems like Silok-01 or R-330Zh Zhitel, which can disrupt a GPS signal over specific areas.

Attempts to circumvent these disruptions by manipulating signal frequencies are not always successful, resulting in lesser usage of these drones since summer 2023. In the meantime, for a Russian soldier, often the only available defense in this region, in the face of a lack of jammers, is his rifle - provided he knows how to use it.

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