Day 513: Ukraine’s Defense Ministry puts into service 28 Ukrainian-made drones, supplies thousands of them to troops

Russian missile strikes hit a community center in Chernihiv region, and an infrastructure facility in Odesa region. Ukrainians donate a record-high amount to troops. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry puts into service 28 Ukrainian-made drones, supplies thousands of them to troops.

Russian missile strikes hit community center in Chernihiv region, infrastructure facility in Odesa region

A Russian missile strike on Friday damaged a community center in Chernihiv region. The body of a woman was pulled from the rubble, said the head of the Chernihiv regional military administration, Vyacheslav Chaus. 

The woman was an employee at the community center, he added. A search and rescue operation is underway.

On the morning of July 21, an air raid alert was declared across the country, except in the west. Russia launched a missile attack at Chernihiv and Odesa regions. In what appears to be the second missile strike on Odesa region on that day, Russia fired seven missiles at a critical infrastructure facility in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district. The facility was hit.  

Speaking at a news conference Friday, head of the joint press center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine, Natalia Humenyuk said: “[Russian forces] launched seven missiles of various types at an infrastructure facility in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district. The facility was hit. The scale of damage is being assessed. There were no reports of casualties.”

Ukrainians donate record-high amount to troops

In 2023, Ukrainians have been donating less for defense purposes than in 2022. Yet June 2023 marks a record high number — almost half of donations this year were made in June. 

An open data platform Opendatabot analyzed contributions to the three biggest charity funds in Ukraine — United24, Come Back Alive, and Serhiy Prytula’s Fund.

Ukrainians sent UAH 8.35 billion (USD 227 million) to the organizations in the first six months of 2023, a 22 per cent decrease from the second half of 2022.

Ukrainians donated UAH 4.93 billion (89 per cent) for defense purposes. The rest of the funds (11 per cent) were collected for medical assistance (UAH 0.45 billion) and rebuilding of Ukraine (UAH 0.16 billion).    

In June, Ukrainians donated a record-high amount of UAH 2.4 billion to United24. They set the previous record, UAH 2.24 billion, in July 2022.   

In June, donations for defense purposes were 4.8 times higher than in January-May this year when United24 collected USB 0.5 billion.  

Two other charity foundations have a similar breakdown.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry puts into service 28 Ukrainian-made drones, supplies thousands of them to troops 

Since February 22, 2022, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry has put into service 28 Ukrainian-made drone models. The ministry said it had supplied the Armed Forces with thousands of drones it had acquired.

Nine of the acquired models are suicide drones, including three aircraft-type drone models. There are also six FPV drone types. The Defense Ministry said it is their priority to develop domestic production of weapons and military equipment, including drones.

“In autumn 2022, the defense ministry largely simplified the procedures for developers and producers so that new weapons and military equipment could be put into operation in three-five weeks as opposed to almost two years. The supply of Ukrainian-made drones to the Armed Forces has been increasing exponentially,” the ministry said.

The Defense Ministry contracted Ukrainian companies to mass produce ten various drone models. Their names and production amount are not being disclosed for safety reasons.

In 2023, the ministry signed a contract to acquire a reconnaissance drone. A suicide drone has just been tested. It was developed by one of Ukroboronprom’s companies. A formal procedure is underway to allow the drone’s use. 

On June 20, Ukroboronprom said the Ukrainian Armed Forces successfully used a Ukrainian-made attack drone that has a range of 1,000 kilometers.

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