Ukraine has vowed to build an army of robots to destroy Putin’s forces, including self-driving vehicles, AI-powered machine guns and the next generation of air defense sensors.
Kiev’s most recent government minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, has overseen the repeal of dozens of Soviet laws to promote the development of the next generation of weapons for Ukraine’s armed struggle against Russia. The Sunday Telegraph Reports
More than 200 companies from Ukraine are involved in the effort, supported by the relaxation of government procurement regulations and the introduction of a free market.
Fedorov’s mission has been compared to America’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, a U.S. government agency created in 1958 to facilitate technology research with potential military applications. It is best known for an early network of time-sharing computers that formed the basis of the Internet.
“You know that the war begins with one level of technology and ends with a completely different level of technology,” Fedorov told the newspaper from his office in Kiev.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov, Head of the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine Yurii Shchyhol and First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
Putin’s new Marker robotic tanks arrive in Ukraine to be tested in wartime conditions
The 32-year-old Digital Transformation Minister is aware that technology can help save lives in the fight against a country with a much larger population.
Fedorov added: “We don’t have many people and we value the life of every soldier.”
In his latest creation, an “army of robots” will perform tasks that soldiers from Ukraine would normally risk their lives doing.
Automated machine guns with artificially intelligent targeting systems have already been used.
Recent announcements also mentioned the production of robots that can lay mines and dig up explosives.
“We want robots that can absorb as much enemy firepower as possible so that we can be flexible and avoid the lives of our soldiers,” Fedorov said.
Fedorov hopes for fleets of self-propelled vehicles that can change weapons, deliver ammunition and evacuate injured front-line troops.
As the Sunday Telegraph reports, successful tests have already taken place of a new generation of air defense sensors using classified technologies.
They can help identify Russian drones and missiles and track their final path using Ukrainian-developed technology that is completely different from the radar systems donated to Kiev by NATO countries.
Military and artificial intelligence experts say the longer the war lasts, the more likely it will be that drones will be used to identify, select and attack targets without human assistance.
Russia has already shelled Kiev with Iran-supplied Shahed-136 drones and unleashed terror with the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that overwhelmed air defenses.
Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said fully autonomous killer drones are “a logical and inevitable next step” in weapons development. He said Ukraine had done “a lot of research and development in this direction.”
Fully autonomous AI is already helping to defend Ukraine. Utah-based Fortem Technologies has equipped the Ukrainian military with drone hunting systems that combine small radars and unmanned aerial vehicles, both AI-powered.
The radars are designed to identify enemy drones, which then disable the UAVs by firing nets at them – all without human assistance.
Earlier this week, Russian drone strikes near the Khmelnytskyy nuclear facility in western Ukraine renewed fear among officials and civilians in Kiev of a winter attack on their country’s energy grid.
Zelensky promised on Wednesday evening that Kiev would attack targets inside Russia if Moscow tried again to bring cold and darkness to the country.
“This year we will not only defend but also respond,” he said.
Kiev now has a growing fleet of long-range drones and has demonstrated its ability to attack military targets deep inside Russia.
Russian air defense shot down over 30 Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula on Saturday night, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
“The existing air defense systems destroyed 36 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles over the Black Sea and the northwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula,” the ministry wrote on Telegram.
Local authorities in the southern Krasnodar region, which borders the Black Sea, said a fire broke out at an oil refinery in the early hours of Sunday but did not give details of the cause.
“The reasons for the incident are currently being clarified,” a statement from local authorities said, while local media claimed the fire was caused by a drone strike or debris from a downed drone.
Drone flies over war-torn landscape (stock image)
Drone attacks and shelling of the Russian border regions and Crimea, annexed by Moscow, are the order of the day. Ukrainian officials never acknowledge responsibility for attacks on Russian territory or the Crimean peninsula.
In Ukraine, the country’s air force said on Sunday it had shot down five Iranian-made Shahed exploding drones fired by Russia overnight.
Near the front line in the east of the country, where Ukrainian and Russian forces are locked in a bitter battle for control, four police officers were injured when a grenade fired by Russian troops exploded from their police car in the city of Siversk in the partially occupied Donetsk province.
British intelligence concluded over the weekend that Russia suffered some of its highest casualty toll so far this year due to ongoing “heavy but inconclusive” fighting around the town of Avdiivka, also in Donetsk province.
The British Ministry of Defense’s regular intelligence update on Saturday morning noted that Russia had deployed “parts of up to eight brigades” in the region since the start of its “major offensive” in mid-October.
Also on Sunday, a prominent Putin ally warned that Russia could take action to seize assets from European Union member states it deems hostile if the EU goes ahead with its plan to “steal” frozen Russian funds to support reconstruction efforts to support Ukraine after the war.
“A number of European politicians (…) have again talked about stealing our country’s frozen funds in order to continue the militarization of Kiev,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, wrote on Telegram.
Volodin made the statement in response to an announcement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday about a proposal to use proceeds from frozen Russian state assets to help Ukraine rebuild.
Volodin assured that Moscow would respond with measures that would incur significant costs for the EU if it were to act against Russian assets, a significant part of which are located in Belgium.
“Such a decision would require a symmetrical response from the Russian Federation.” “In this case, far more assets of unfriendly countries will be confiscated than our frozen funds in Europe,” Volodin said.