Former Ukrainian military chief insisted on use of drones as game-changer in war with Russia – Come Back Alive director

OLEKSANDR SHUMILIN, Roman Kravets — Thursday, 11 April 2024, 11:28

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, former Commander-in-Chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, believed that a technological breakthrough in weapons could occur through the extensive employment of uncrewed aerial vehicles on the battlefield, says Taras Chmut, director of the charity Come Back Alive.

Source: Chmut in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda

Details: Asked what the technological leap in weaponry that Zaluzhnyi described might look like nowadays, Chmut said: "In the opinion of [former] Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi, it had to involve First-Person View [drones] and uncrewed technologies on the battlefield in general. I had a long conversation with him about it."

Quote from Chmut: "Zaluzhnyi believed that this technology had enormous potential which we could use to offset Russia's numerical superiority in personnel, equipment, weapons and tactical depth, and to buy time.

For this purpose, the commander-in-chief sought to form the command of unmanned forces; for this purpose, he wanted to train 100 companies of so-called Rubaks – companies of strike unmanned aerial systems; for this purpose, he aimed to build a vast fleet of drones, over a million FPVs and other platforms."


  • In November 2023, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, then Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, wrote in a column for The Economist that the war with Russia was entering a new phase: "a 'positional' struggle with static and exhausting battles. It takes high technology to win such a war."
  • In February 2024, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy instructed Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers to set up a new service branch within the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the drone forces.

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