Video footage shared by Ukraine’s 128th Mountain Assault Brigade shows the moment a Russian soldier is killed or seriously injured by a falling munition. The video is below but note it should be considered graphic.
The aerial footage, recorded by an unmanned aerial vehicle, shows a Russian soldier running through the woods – possible to escape the UAV above. As the soldier dives into the trees, the drone drops an explosive onto the trees. An explosion ensues, and the body of the Russian soldier dives out of the trees and falls to the ground.
It is unknown whether the soldier survived the blast.
The video was also edited to include a “game over” screen at the end of the clip. After showing the Russian soldier being thrown to the ground by the explosion, the graphic appears on the screen as though the video were a scene from a video game.
Keeping with the video game vibe of the clip, the video also has the music of the 1980s popular Nintendo Entertainment System video game Super Mario Brothers playing in the background.
“GAME OVER: 128 brigade orc fighters attack,” the caption reads in Ukrainian.
It’s just one of many examples of the Ukrainian military releasing antagonistic video footage that has been edited to appear comical or to taunt Russia in some way. Russia has also released similar footage.
The editing of these videos in this way is likely a tactic to generate as much online attention as possible, as well as taunt the enemy. While this particular video has been uploaded to multiple social media outlets by several users, one version of the clip uploaded by military researcher Rob Lee had been viewed more than 83,000 times after just 24 hours.
The original video shared on Facebook had been viewed 9,000 times in the same timeframe.
What Drone Did They Use?
No information was given about the drone used in the attack or the explosive that was dropped on the soldier.
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) June 24, 2022
However, it’s likely that the drone used in the attack is a commercial-grade UAV. Reports from April revealed how these devices were being used by Ukrainian troops to drop “tiny bombs from its off-the-shelf helicopter drones.”
We do know for sure that the drone used in the attack is either a quadcopter or octocopter. Bombs cannot be dropped in this way using winged drones as it requires the UAV to remain stationary in the air.
Using these commercial-grade drones to drop explosives was compared to tactics used by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which would also use these kinds of drones to drop small drones on enemy positions.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.