Hobby drones at war: How do they help Ukraine?

What good would they do?
Loukia Papadopoulos
Drone monitoring barbed wire fence.abadonian/iStock

Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense is asking citizens of Kyiv who own hobby drones to lend them to the military in order to help monitor the city as Russia continues to invade, according to a Facebook post published on February 25. The post even encouraged people who don’t know how to fly their own drones to bring them in so that more experienced drone pilots can put them to use.

“Do you own a drone? Give it to experienced pilots to use!” the Facebook post says according to a translation.

“Do you know how to drive a drone? Join the joint patrol with units 112 of the separate brigade of the city of Kyiv!"

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Drones helping Ukraine

And according to ABC, people are rushing to offer up their drones.

“Why are we doing this? We have no other choice. This is our land, our home,” Denys Sushko, head of operations at Kyiv-based industrial drone technology company DroneUA, told the news agency. Before the war, Sushko's company was providing drone services to farmers and energy companies.

“We try to use absolutely everything that can help protect our country and drones are a great tool for getting real-time data," added Sushko. “Now in Ukraine, no one remains indifferent. Everyone does what they can.”

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What do the drones do?

The hobby drones would allow Ukrainian forces to put eyes in the air and take a look behind all kinds of obstructions that currently limit their line of sight. This in turn would provide crucial information about the location of Russian troops and in the process also reveal vulnerable units and supply lines.

This means defenders could better plan their strategies and more complex tactics including such activities as the time and place for a potentially successful attack. Drones can also be used to warn about approaching enemy forces so that civilians know where and when to run and take cover.