In response to Russian rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities on Monday, a crowdfunding campaign raised almost $10 million in 24 hours to buy kamikaze drones for the Ukrainian military.
The funds will be used to purchase 50 Ram II drones, which are unmanned aerial vehicles with a 6.6 Lbs explosive payload designed and built by Ukrainian companies, and three control stations.
Serhiy Prytula, the initiative's organizer, said that more munitions would be secured in the coming days.
“They wanted to scare us but we united even more. Remember: never infuriate Ukrainians. Never. The people have donated for the revenge, so we will ensure the revenge happens,” Prytula said.
During a video conference on Tuesday, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, informed the leaders of the G7 nations that Russia had attacked Ukrainian cities over the previous two days with a variety of munitions, resulting in the deaths of 20 people.
“The enemy has used more than 100 cruise missiles, dozens of different drones, including Iranian Shaheds,” Zelenskiy said. “And every 10 minutes I receive a message about the enemy's use of Iranian Shaheds.”
In addition, Zelenskiy stated that according to Ukrainian intelligence, Russia is believed to have ordered 2,400 Shahed-136 kamikaze drones from Iran. At the same time, he called on the west to provide Ukraine with improved air defense systems.
Kamikaze drones are not designed to return-to-home
The Iranian Aircraft Industrial Company is responsible for the production of Shahed-136 drones, which, similar to the Ram II, are not designed to make it back home after completing a mission.
The drones are rumored to have a flight range of one thousand kilometers, as stated by the company that made them.
The kamikaze drones move slowly and have a loud Chinese MD550 engine, but when they are sent out in a swarm, it can be difficult to bring them down.
The Ram I unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has a flight range of 30 kilometers but has proven to be effective in combat.
Footage of one of these kamikaze drones destroying a Russian 9K33 Osa surface-to-air missile system, which is estimated to be worth $700,000, has been shared on social media.
An activist named Serhii Sternenko, who helped co-found the crowdsourcing initiative and ran it for 26 hours before calling it quits, stated that a million Ukrainian Hryvnias (or approximately $27,000) had been donated within the first seven minutes of the appeal by people in bomb shelters and other locations.
“Crowdfunding campaigns make our defense stronger; we, the people, help the Ukrainian army. But we still need more weapons from our allies to stop this terror and the crime of genocide Russia commits daily in this European country,” Sternenko reportedly said.
Let us know what you think about the use of Kamikaze drones in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. We are curious to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo courtesy of Ukraine Now.
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