I saw this piece, this event happened earlier this morning (November 25) in Donetsk. The reporter is Rafael Fakhrutdinov.
The town in question is called Yasinovataya, which is located in the center of the Donetsk Peoples Republic. Founded in 1872 as a railroad hub, this is a busy little city currently boasting a population of some 37,000 souls. All of whom the Ukrainian army has apparently vowed to terrorize, in this case with little flying grenades. Imagine just being an ordinary person walking out of your house one morning to go to work, or go shopping, and a drone flies over your head and explodes a grenade!
So, first off, it seems like we are not talking about the fancy Turkish Bayraktar drones purchased by the Ukrainian army. Instead, the drones in question appear to be the hobbyist type that anybody could buy in a Walmart, for example. The article refers to them as “quadrocopters”. So, some enterprising hobbyists in the Ukrainian army apparently equipped three of these toys with grenades and flew them over the rebel town. Two of the grenades failed to explode; the third one exploded. Fortunately, nobody was hurt; but somebody’s automobile was destroyed. One can only hope that person’s car insurance covers that kind of damage.
The information is coming to us from a war-weary Alexander Khodakovsky, who is a military official in the DPR government and who commands the Vostok Brigade of the Separatist forces. Khodakovsky: “Yasinovataya was attacked by three quadrocopters, each one of which exploded a grenade that had been built by hand and customized for this purpose. These are not official (sanctioned) weapons.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have an effective method to protect the population against such drone attacks carried out by the Ukrainian army. They are using this small autopiloted aviation, which is invisible to our radar. You can only tell these things are coming when you hear them, or if you are able to detect the control signal. Our specialists in radio-electronic surveillance can sometimes detect the signal, and then they try to seize control over these drones. But this doesn’t work very often, which is why the Ukrainian Armed Forces feel themselves to operate with impunity.”
The only weak point in the quadrocopter, its Achilles heel, is the fact that it cannot stay in the air longer than 40 minutes. And that’s when it’s not bearing a weight. When it’s bearing a weight, it’s air time is much shorter. For this reason, they are not able to fly very far from the Ukrainian front line.
“We are not able to evacuate all the populated areas near the front lines, therefore we are left with only passive methods of trying to warn the civilian population,” Khodakovsky continues his rather frank tirade. In this particular case, the drones were sent flying over a thickly populated residential area. Which fits into the well-known genre by which the Ukrainian army, knowing they cannot take the town back, simply amuse themselves by making life as miserable as possible for ordinary people living there.
Khodakovsky concludes: “We did not receive any official communications from the Ukrainian army. Well, we don’t usually anyhow. For the course of the past 7 years they just attack us on a regular basis, this is our way of life now.”