The Ukrainian military has been talking for weeks about starting a counter-offensive in the south. Now, a senior military officer has said that they want to retake the city of Kherson within a few weeks.
Instead of a big, full-scale attack, they are likely to use a different strategy in which small drone units play a part.
A member of Ukraine’s special operation forces is flying a drone over Russian positions with his eyes glued to a screen. He sees an armoured vehicle hidden in trenches and sends a voice message to an artillery unit to “fire when you’re ready.”
Russian lines are only 3 km (1.9 miles) away, and this soldier has to hide his identity. His call sign is Maverick, which comes from the movie Top Gun.
Maverick and his team’s job is to find possible targets and send the coordinates of where they are to the other team. Then they watch and tell the soldiers where to shoot.
In this war, big guns make a big difference.
“This is a battle of minds, artillery, and high-tech weapons. The soldier still has a big part to play, but rockets, artillery, and airstrikes are what make or break the battle “Maj. Gen. Dmytro Marchenko says that he was in charge of defending the southern city of Mykolaiv from a Russian attack last spring, and it went well. He says that it is not like World War II, when one big army went after another.
After 12 rounds, they can get no closer than 15m (50ft) to the target before Russian forces respond. Everyone runs for cover inside a hangar when they hear the scary whistle of a Russian shell. Around us, missiles are falling. As shells hit the ground, mounds of dirt rise up like a fountain.
By now, the Russians know that a team of drones is controlling the artillery fire, and they have started randomly bombing the area.
The drones are still out there, and Maverick and his teammate are doing everything they can to get them back.
“They’ve turned on REB!”
When the satellite signal goes out and the signal from the remote control is lost. drones can no longer be controlled.
The soldiers get through the attack without getting hurt. but they lose one of their drones.