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In the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is still too soon to draw major conclusions about the end of ‘traditional’ wars. Even so, the war going on in Eastern Europe may offer insights into how advanced technologies, both military and commercial, are applied to the battlefield of the 21st century.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine late last month, Ukraine’s Defense Minister posted a Facebook message calling on owners of small drones to use them for various missions along with units of the separate brigade of Kiev. In response to the call, many Ukrainians donated their private devices to the cause. Now, new information is emerging about their activities. reports, based on various reports from Latvian television, that 90 skimmers have been provided by Latvian companies in order to assist Ukrainian forces in fighting the Russian invasion. Ukrainian forces have stated in official publications that dual-use UAVs, which are able to perform surveillance activities as well as other military missions, can only be accepted from companies holding special licenses, and that private donations are not permitted.

Currently, these drones appear to be used for monitoring and surveillance of Russian forces in the area by Ukrainian forces. It has not been confirmed whether drones are being equipped with explosives or ammunition despite reports to the contrary.