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Ukraine hails teen drone operator who spied Russian armor

Ukraine hails teen drone operator who spied Russian armor

KOLONSCHYNA, Ukraine (AP) — As Russian tanks with every one other accompanied by trucks rumbled near to their village, a Ukrainian teenager with every one other accompanied by his father stealthily launched their small drone into the air.

Working while a team, they took bird's-eye photos of the armored pillar moving in the direction of Kyiv with every one other accompanied by pinpointed its coordinates, swiftly messaging the precious details to the Ukrainian military.

Within minutes, artillery batteries rained shells down on the invading forces, accompanied by deadly effect.

Andriy Pokrasa, 15, with every one other accompanied by his dad, Stanislav, are actuality hailed inside Ukraine for their volunteer aerial reconnaissance labour inside the early days of the invasion, when Russian troops barreling inside from the northern made an ultimately failed try to lay clasp of the first city with every one other accompanied by convey the country to its knees.

For a filled week following the Feb. 24 invasion, the set of two made repeated sorties accompanied by their drone — risking capture or worse had Russian troops been aware of their snooping.

"These were some of the scariest moments of my life," Andriy recounted while he demonstrated his piloting skills for an Associated Press team of journalists.

"We provided the photos with every one other accompanied by the location to the armed forces," he said. "They narrowed down the coordinates additional correctly with every one other accompanied by transmitted them by walkie-talkie, so while to adjust the artillery."

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His father was contented to depart from the piloting to the boy.

"I tin operate the drone, nevertheless my son does it a a large amount of better. We straight away decided he would do it," Stanislav Pokrasa, 41, said.

They aren't sure how numerous Russian targets were destroyed using details they provided. But they saw the devastation wrought on the Russian convoy when they subsequent flew the drone spine over the charred hulks of trucks with every one other accompanied by tanks near a town the occident of Kyiv with every one other accompanied by off a strategically important main highway that leads to the capital.

"There were additional than 20 Russian military vehicles destroyed, among them fuel trucks with every one other accompanied by tanks," the father said.

As Russian with every one other accompanied by Ukrainian forces battled furiously for jurisdiction of Kyiv's outskirts, Ukrainian soldiers eventually urged the Pokrasa family to depart from their village, which Russian troops subsequently occupied.

With all mature men up to number of years 60 under management orders to remain inside the country, the elder Pokrasa couldn't fasten his spouse with every one other accompanied by son when they fled to neighboring Poland.

They came spine a few weeks ago, when Andriy had finished his educational organization year.

"I was contented that we destroyed someone," he said. "I was contented that I contributed, that I was intelligent to do something. Not fair sitting with every one other accompanied by waiting."

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AP journalist John Leicester contributed to this report from Kyiv, Ukraine.

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Follow AP's coverage of the Ukraine war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Ukraine hails teen drone operator who spied Russian armor

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