Ukraine war: Teenager and father used drone to spy on Russian forces and help army | World News

A Ukrainian teenager and his father spied on a Russian convoy on the outskirts of Kyiv using a small drone and passed on information to Ukraine’s military.

They took bird’s-eye pictures of the Russian tanks and trucks as they moved closer to their village and pinpointed the convoy’s coordinates, before sending the intelligence to the military.

Within minutes, Ukraine‘s military hit the column with heavy shelling.

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Andriy Pokrasa, 15, and his father Stanislav, 41, have been praised for the volunteer aerial reconnaissance work during the early days of the invasion when Russian troops from the north made a failed attempt to seize the capital Kyiv.

The pair monitored the convoy for a full week after the invasion on 24 February.

“These were some of the scariest moments of my life,” the teenager said.

“We provided the photos and the location to the armed forces. They narrowed down the coordinates more accurately and transmitted them by walkie-talkie, so as to adjust the artillery.”

His father added that his son is a much better drone pilot.

“I can operate the drone, but my son does it much better,” he said.

“We immediately decided he would do it.”

Andriy Pokrasa, 15, lands his drone on his hand during an interview with The Associated Press in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, June 11, 2022. Andriy is being hailed in Ukraine for stealthy aerial reconnaissance work he has done with his dad in the ongoing war with Russia. They used their drone to help the country's military spot, locate and destroy Russian targets in the early days of the Russian invasion.  (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Stanislav Pokrasa said he saw more than 20 Russian military vehicles destroyed. Pic AP

While they are not sure how many Russian targets were destroyed with the help of their intelligence, they did see the devastation on the convoy when they later flew the drone over the area.

“There were more than 20 Russian military vehicles destroyed, among them fuel trucks and tanks,” Mr Pokrasa said.

However, as the fighting intensified on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine’s military urged the Pokrasa family to leave their village, which Russia eventually occupied.

As all adult men up to the age of 60 were ordered to stay in Ukraine, Mr Pokrasa could not join his wife and son when they fled to Poland.

They came back a few weeks ago when Andriy had finished his school year.

“I was happy that we destroyed someone,” the teenager said.

“I was happy that I contributed, that I was able to do something. Not just sitting and waiting.”

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