Kyiv has released dramatic footage it says shows one of its drones evading Russian aircraft trying and failing to shoot it down.
Ukraine’s defense intelligence shared the clip on its Telegram channel next to a post that described how two Russian helicopters and a jet had failed to shoot down the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying above Cape Tarkhankut, in Crimea.
“UAVs of the Main Directorate of Intelligence are increasingly coming out unscathed not only after meeting with Rashist air defense, but also in direct collision with enemy aircraft,” said the post, according to a translation, using Kyiv’s disparaging term for the Russian invaders.
Describing the footage, the post said the drone “is being chased by two combat helicopters and one plane” and that amid constant fire, “our drone left the ‘battlefield’ unscathed and successfully returned to base.”
Ukraine did not specify the type of drone seen in the 15-second clip but from the camera footage, it appeared to be a fixed-wing UAV with a propeller. There were no details on how long the pursuit took place or when it occurred. Newsweek has not verified the footage and has contacted the Russian Defense Ministry for comment.
Ukrainian Internal Affairs Advisor Anton Gerashchenko posted the video on X (formerly Twitter) which sparked a lively thread from social media users.
“How is this possible? Did the helicopters simply give up? Seems like they had plenty of time to shoot it down,” wrote Lawrence Krubner.
It prompted Dawid Adamczyk to write that a helicopter gun is not designed to fire at objects that are at higher altitudes than the helicopter as its turret “allows it only to fire down and to the sides, not up. So, a climbing drone is difficult/impossible target to hit.”
Drones have been a key feature of the war in Ukraine, although it is unusual to see them in direct confrontation with traditional aircraft.
On Wednesday, Russia and Crimea came under the largest drone attack since the start of the war in which the Pskov, Moscow, Bryansk, Oryol, Kaluga, and Ryazan regions, were targeted as well as Crimea.
Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told media outlet The War Zone that drones which damaged at least four Russian aircraft in Pskov had been launched from within Russian territory.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, Vyacheslav Gladkov said that two aerial targets had been shot down, although there were no casualties or damage.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry had claimed that local air defenses destroyed a Ukrainian drone over the Belgorod region at around 9 p.m. Moscow time.