'Hero of Ukraine': 15-year-old boy who stopped Russian tanks with help of his toy drone
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for more 100 days and it has already witnessed untold tragedies and loss of life at an alarming rate. However, the war has also given us some stories of rare heroics. One such story is that of Andriy Pokrasa, 15, and his dad, Stanislav – the duo who are using drones to track the movement of the Russian military. The father-son duo, who lived on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, used a small drone to follow the movement of the Russian tanks and the data was relayed back to the Ukrainian troops. This resulted in a number of successful counter-offensive missions for Ukraine and made them into heroes in the eyes of Ukraine’s people.
“These were some of the scariest moments of my life,” Andriy told Associated Press while recounting the early days of the Russian invasion.
“We provided the photos and the location to the armed forces. They narrowed down the coordinates more accurately and transmitted them by walkie-talkie, so as to adjust the artillery.”
While Stanislav helps with the process, it is Andriy who pilots the drone. “I can operate the drone, but my son does it much better. We immediately decided he would do it,” Stanislav said.
With the Russian military approaching their village on the western side of Kyiv, they kept operating their drones to gather information before they had to move out in order to avoid getting captured. They were not clear about the impact of their actions but according to Andriy, "around 20 tanks" were destroyed.
Andriy went to Poland with his family but came back to join his father after a few weeks.