The drone that saved Kyiv was piloted by a 15-year-old boy

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The drone that saved Kyiv was piloted by a 15-year-old boy

The column of Russian military vehicles that bore down on Kyiv in the early days of the war was brought to a smoldering halt because a 15-year-old boy was helping to aim Ukrainian artillery.

Ukrainian teenager Andrii Pokrasa flew his drone over the Russian forces, relaying photos and coordinates to artillery units, effectively saving the capital city in late February, Canadian outlet Global News reported.

“He’s a real hero, a hero of Ukraine,” Yurii Kasjanov, a commander with Ukraine’s unmanned recon unit, told the outlet. “He was the only one who was experienced with drones in that region.”

Pokrasa said he was approached by Ukraine’s civil defense when they were looking for the exact coordinates of the Russian column.

“They provided us information where approximately the Russian column could be. Our goal was to find the exact coordinates and provide the coordinates to the soldiers,” he said.

Teenager looks up while holding drone controller.
Ukrainian teenager Andrii Pokrasa had mixed feelings about about the death of Russian troops that resulted from his information.
Global News

“It was one of the biggest columns that was moving on the Zhytomyr road and we managed to find it because one of the trucks turned on its lights for a long time,” he added.

Pokrasa said he purchased his first drone last summer, but quickly began flying it almost every day.
Global News

The teenager said he was ambivalent about the death of Russian troops that resulted from his information.

“First of all I was so happy, but also it was people there,” he said. “They were occupiers but anyway they were people.”

Pokrasa said he’d only purchased his first drone last summer, but quickly got hooked, flying nearly every day.

Drone footage.
“He’s a real hero, a hero of Ukraine,” Yurii Kasjanov, a commander with Ukraine’s unmanned recon unit, told the outlet.
Global News

When the war began and he was approached to help spot Russian formations, he said his neighbors feared the drone would make them a target. So Pokrasa said he and his father would launch their sorties from a nearby field at night.

After his initial success, the Ukrainian military equipped Pokrasa with a longer-range drone.

The 15-year-old eventually fled Ukraine with his mother for Poland, where he is now continuing his studies in the ninth grade.

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