DJI Mavic 3 surveillance drone, powerful telelens captures killing of a civilian by Russian forces

Footage of a DJI Mavic 3 surveillance drone shows the killing of a civilian by Russian forces a few miles west of Kyiv. Viewer discretion advised.

The drone footage adds to the mounting suspicion and potential evidence of war crimes being committed by the Russian army.

The footage from the surveillance drone was sent to the German news outlet ZDF Frontal by an anonymous Ukrainian source.

The evidence consists of two clips one of which is about two minutes long and the other one is almost four minutes in duration.

The drone footage was recorded on March 7th, 2022 early in the afternoon.

Dji Mavic 3 Surveillance Drone, Powerful Telelens Captures Killing Of A Civilian By Russian Forces

Drone captures victim being shot while having his hands up in the air

The Mavic 3 surveillance drone recorded events that occurred on the E40 expressway a few miles west of Kyiv.

On the north side of the highway, close to a gas station, the Russian army has positioned a tank and a few soldiers carrying rifles. The Russian forces are easily recognizable by the white markings on the tank as well as on the soldiers’ uniforms.

At around 2:16 pm several civilian vehicles are headed towards Kyiv.

The driver of the first car must have seen the Russian soldiers or tank as the car suddenly turns around and speeds away.

The second, silver-colored car turns around and then comes to a stop. The driver exits the vehicle, raises his hands, and is shot, collapsing right in front of his car.

The Russian soldiers run from their hideouts to the scene of the shooting.

Later on in the video, Russian soldiers can be seen dragging the civilian victim away behind small bushes into a ditch.

A woman and child were also traveling in the silver vehicle. They were captured by the Russian forces and led into the woods. It is unclear what has happened to them at this point in time.

The car was later towed away and put on fire.

Taking to the pilot of the Mavic 3 surveillance drone

The German news outlet ZDF Frontal was able to get in touch with the pilot who recorded the shocking footage with his DJI Mavic 3 surveillance drone.

The drone operator, who goes by the name Zanoza, is one of many Ukrainian volunteers who are defending their country. ZDF Frontal was able to identify the man, who is fighting in the “Bugatti Company”, but is withholding his real name for obvious reasons.

Zanoza showed ZDF Frontal the drone he used for surveillance purposes. It is a DJI Mavic 3 Cine drone that features power digital zoom capabilities.

“I was observing Russian tank positions on the road for some time,” Zanoza said. “Nothing happened for a long time. The gas station had been closed for days. Then civilian vehicles approached. One slowed down and stopped. The diver got out of the car, raised his hands and was shot by Russian soldiers.”

Dji Mavic 3 Surveillance Drone, Powerful Telelens Captures Killing Of A Civilian By Russian Forces

The news outlet was able to verify the drone footage and stated:

“We checked the video recordings right there. They contain a time stamp. We compare the location to maps: Sadova Vulytsya, 2, Mriia, Kyivs’ka oblast, 08112. The scene of the crime can be found on Google Maps. The gas station, the adjacent forest, a house on the roadside – everything matches. The fact that Russian forces were shelling the very nearby Kiev suburb of Iprin at that time is also no secret.”

Does the footage from the DJI Mavic 3 show a war crime?

Under the International Criminal Code, the shooting of civilians is prohibited especially when they have already surrendered as is the case here.

It seems that the telelens turned the off-the-shelf DJI drone into a capable DJI Mavic 3 surveillance drone. The unmanned aircraft first monitored a quite large area with its wide-angle lens, but then zoomed in quickly to document the horrific event in which the Russian soldiers shoot a civilian who had already surrendered.

It seems likely that the footage will be used later to hold the Russian aggressors accountable for potential war crimes.

Dji Mavic 3 Surveillance Drone, Powerful Telelens Captures Killing Of A Civilian By Russian Forces 1

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Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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