Kyiv ( Associated Press) — Ukraine has acquired about 1,400 drones, most of them reconnaissance, and plans to develop fighter models that can attack explosive drones used by Russia during its invasion of the country, Ukrainian According to the minister in charge of technology in Govt.
In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov described Russia’s war in Ukraine as the first major war in the Internet age. He credited drone and satellite internet systems like Elon Musk’s Starlink for transforming the conflict.
Ukraine has acquired drones such as the Fly Eye, a small device used for intelligence, battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance.
“And the next step, now that we are more or less armed with reconnaissance drones, is attack drones,” Fedorov said. “These are both explosive drones and drones that fly between three and ten kilometers and hit targets.”
He predicted “more attack drone missions” in the future, but declined to elaborate. “We are talking about drones, UAVs, UAVs that we are developing in Ukraine. In any case, this will be the next step in the development of technologies”, he said.
Russian officials have condemned Ukraine’s multiple drone attacks against its military targets in recent weeks, including one on Monday that they said Russian forces attacked more than 600 kilometers (370 miles) from Ukraine. shot down a drone approaching the distant Engels airbase. range.
The Russian military said three members were killed in the wreckage but no aircraft were damaged. The base is home to Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching attacks against Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have not formally acknowledged carrying out such drone strikes, but have given a cryptic indication of how Russia might expect retaliation for its war in Ukraine, even Even inside Russian territory.
Fedorov said Ukraine is carrying out research and development activities on drones that can counter and shoot down other drones. Russia has used Iranian-made Shaheed drones for its airstrikes on Ukrainian soil in recent weeks, in addition to rocket, cruise missile and artillery strikes.
“I can already say that in February or March the situation regarding drones will change drastically,” he remarked.
Federov sits down for an interview in his bright, modern office. Located inside a quiet ministry building, the room contained a vinyl record player, history books stacked on shelves, and a treadmill.
The minister stressed the importance of mobile communications for civilian and military purposes during the war, saying the hardest-hit places to maintain service have been the Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Odessa and Kyiv regions in the country’s center and east.
He said there are times when less than half of the cell phone towers in the capital Kyiv are working because Russian airstrikes have destroyed or damaged the infrastructure that supplies them with electricity.
Ukraine has about 30,000 cell phone towers, and the government is trying to hook them up to generators so they can keep going when airstrikes damage the power grid.
The only option, for now, is satellite systems like Starlink, which Ukrainians can rely on more if the blackouts become longer.
“We have to understand that in this case, Starlinks and towers connected to generators will be the infrastructure of the Internet,” Fedorov said.
Many cities and towns are facing power cuts up to 10 hours. Fedorov said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree ordering mobile phone companies to provide signals without electricity for at least three days.
Associated Press Writer Jamie Keaton contributed to this report.