Ukraine Continues To Use Drone-Dropped Munitions to Strike Russian Vehicles – Despite a constant flow of Western weapons and ammunition to Ukraine – like HIMARS and M777 weapons platforms that seem to have Russian forces on the back foot – Ukrainian troops continue to rely on makeshift weapons and drone-dropped munitions to launch attacks on Russian vehicles and positions.
“Another drone-dropped munition used by Ukrainian forces- this time a VOG-17 grenade, causing minor damage to an MT-LB armoured vehicle of the Russian Army,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker, an English-language Twitter account that monitors the war in Ukraine, said in a post accompanying the video clip.
In the video, a VOG-17 grenade is seen falling from a rotary-blade drone. As the munition hits the Russian military vehicle, a small explosion can be seen. However, there is no visible damage. The grenade drops directly onto the exterior armor.
The video demonstrates that makeshift weaponry, including the dropping of grenades from consumer-grade drones fitted with high-resolution cameras, may be effective in some scenarios but certainly doesn’t serve as a method of destroying military vehicles.
In the clip, a hatch on top of the Russian MT-LB – a multi-purpose, amphibious tank that has been in use since the 1960s – appears to be open. The video may, therefore, show an attempt by Ukrainian troops to drop the grenade directly into the hatch – only to narrowly miss and hit the armor instead.
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) July 23, 2022
Some Twitter users responded to the video by suggesting that the vehicle may also have been abandoned – another possibility, given that Russian soldiers would likely be aware of drones overhead, especially when flying so low. If Russian soldiers knew a drone was nearby, the hatch would have been closed.
Makeshift Bombers in Ukraine: Sometimes It Works
Earlier this month, similar footage shared online showed how Ukrainian troops have successfully dropped grenades through open hatches on Russian tanks.
In a video shared on social media, which appears to have been recorded from a rotary-blade UAV, a so-called “bait bomb” is seen falling from the drone and landing in the hatch. These bait bombs are normally used in fishing to attract fish. They are plastic, bomb-shaped containers that are typically loaded with bait and dropped from a drone.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, however, these bait bombs have been regularly modified by Ukrainian troops to drop hand grenades instead.
Footage shared online in June also showed a Ukrainian grenade dropped from a drone, landing on a Russian soldier who appeared to be going to the bathroom.
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.