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The display of hundreds of DJI Mavic 3T thermal copters that would later be deployed to strategic hotspots on the front lines. The drones were acquired through a collaborative effort by Monobank, Oleg Horokhovsky, and Igor Lachenkov for the Drone Army as part of Ukraine's state United24 initiative. (Army of Drones/Facebook)
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The government supported on May 7 a draft decree by President Volodymyr Zelensky on the creation of a separate Armed Forces branch dedicated to unmanned systems, Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said.

Zelensky presented the plan for the new branch in early February as part of Kyiv's efforts to ramp up production of this crucial military capability.

"This is a strategic step for our country in the face of the growing threat from Russia," Umerov said.

As the next step, the Defense Ministry will "prepare and introduce the relevant draft law to the government meeting."

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War Notes

The Unmanned Systems Forces will reportedly focus specifically on improving Ukraine's work with drones, creating special drone-specific units, ramping up training, systemizing their use, increasing production, and pushing innovation.

Drones have become a crucial factor on Ukrainian battlefields for both belligerents, serving multiple purposes, including reconnaissance, airstrikes, naval strikes, and guiding artillery.

Strategic Industries Deputy Minister Hanna Hvozdiar said in March that Ukraine has the capacity to produce 150,000 drones every month and may be able to produce 2 million drones by the end of the year.

The Counteroffensive: Behind the scenes with a Ukrainian drone-hunting unit
Editor’s Note: This article was published by the twice-weekly newsletter “The Counteroffensive with Tim Mak” on April 29, 2024, and has been re-published by the Kyiv Independent with permission. To subscribe to “The Counteroffensive,” click here. While most Ukrainians take shelter during Russian at…
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8:20 PM

Unexploded aerial bomb found at site of Kharkiv hypermarket attack.

Investigators found a third aerial bomb around 80 meters from the hypermarket as operations to recover bodies from the burned wreckage of the building continued. If the bomb had exploded, "there could have been many more victims," the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor's Office said.
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