Russian Soldier Recounts FPV Assault with ‘Flock of Drones’ …

A Russian soldier has recounted the moment he saw an attack from Ukraine’s first-person-view (FPV) drones, which have been hailed by Kyiv as a game-changer on the battlefield.

A member of the Russian military reserve force, BARS (or Combat Army Reserve of the Country), was interviewed by Russian newspaper Izvestia. An excerpt of the interview was shared on X (formerly Twitter) by user Dmitri from War Translated, an independent project that translates materials about the war, on Friday.

“This Russian serviceman was apparently a witness to a ‘flock’ of Ukrainian FPV drones led by a repeater drone queen,” which descended onto Russian positions and started the bombing,” Dmitri wrote in a caption accompanying the video.

FPV drones have been used extensively by Russia and Ukraine in the ongoing war, which began in February 2022. They can be used to record dramatic battlefield footage where drones careen towards Russian vehicles before exploding, or deployed as reconnaissance tools to guide artillery strikes, Newsweek previously reported.

Ukraine’s military is “sending a large wing with a repeater which broadcasts the signal and underneath is a flock of FPV drones,” said the unnamed Russian soldier, who was interviewed by Izvestia correspondent Dmitry Zimenkin.

“A flock of around 10—the Queen is somewhere above at a high altitude in a small detection range. It brings the flock of drones, which then descend onto positions and start working,” he added.

Zimenkin said such a tactic would allow small drones to “land and wait, saving batteries.”

A Ukrainian serviceman holds an FPV strike drone on the front line on October 26, 2023, in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Ukraine. A Russian soldier has recounted the moment he came under an attack from an FPV…

Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

“When a large mother drone spots targets, the kamikazes take off, sometimes several meters from the target, and attack. If the Queen is eliminated, then her entire flock can be neutralized,” he said.

Newsweek has contacted Russia’s defense ministry for comment by email.

In December 2023, Mykhailo Fedorov, Kyiv’s minister of digital transformation, who is leading Ukraine’s drone efforts against Russia, told Newsweek that FPV drones were now becoming more useful to Kyiv’s front-line fighters than artillery.

The drones have quickly become “a game-changer” on the Ukrainian battlefield, taking out masses of Russian hardware, Fedorov said.

“They work sometimes even more efficiently than artillery,” he added. “So, FPV drones are indeed a tech revolution, even though the tech itself is quite easy. But it turned out to be very efficient.”

FPV drones have also been used effectively by Moscow’s forces. On Friday, the Russian ministry of defense said that a Russian paratrooper from Tula, a city in western Russia, killed more than 100 Ukrainian soldiers and destroyed 20 units of equipment using FPV drones.

Do you have a tip on a world news story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about the Russia-Ukraine war? Let us know via [email protected].

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.



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