A priest in the Lviv region collects drones for the military

17 February, 16:00
A priest in the Lviv region collects drones for the military - фото 1
In the Lviv region, a Greek Catholic priest, together with volunteers, is collecting drones for servicemen. As of today, they have already assembled 63 unmanned aerial vehicles.

LMN spoke with the clergyman to learn more about their assistance to our military, as well as how the idea of ​​collecting drones came about.

Father Mykhailo has been actively involved in assisting our Defenders since 2014.

"When the annexation of Crimea and the eastern territories of Ukraine began, we here, on the ground, joined the assistance because the situation was critical. We collected clothes, warm winter clothing, and food, and delivered them there. We contributed to assistance as much as we could," recalls the clergyman.

Later, he and local volunteers decided to independently deliver aid to soldiers at the front. Since then and until today, they have been traveling along the entire front line to ensure that all parcels reach the soldiers personally.

Father Mykhailo is the head of the public organization "Apostolic Cohort," which was created in the early years of the war.

"We called it the 'Apostolic Cohort.' The word 'cohort' (a tactical unit consisting of an average of 30 people) symbolized the number of participants in the organization. The other part - 'Apostolic' - came from Father Mykhailo's nickname, which the soldiers called him in 2014, 'the Apostle.' As of today, the organization has 300 participants," says the priest.

"I don't know exactly what this nickname is associated with. Perhaps the military had their own vision for it. Nevertheless, this nickname has remained to this day," says the priest.

According to Father Mykhailo, with the onset of the full-scale invasion, volunteer activities only gained momentum.

"At first, it was more of a 'light' mode. Then we thought that a thermal imager was the most expensive thing we did. Fortunately, our community is very aware, and soon our scale grew. There were cases when we needed to raise funds for ATVs, so we raised 200,000 in one day. And there were many such fundraisers," notes the priest.

Currently, Father Mykhailo, together with three volunteers, independently assembles drones for our defenders. The priest says that the idea arose after another trip to the front line.

"We were returning from the front, and by that time, drones were already causing trouble for the enemy. Not on the scale as now, but even then, there was an understanding of how necessary they were. On the way home, one of our volunteers suggested trying to assemble drones. We looked on the Internet how they were assembled, ordered the first components," recalls the clergyman.

It took the volunteers about 6 hours to assemble the first drone. Moreover, they immediately faced failure - the first video card burned out due to certain errors during the assembly process. However, after correcting these nuances, the drone started working.

"Our first drone came out a bit clumsy, funny. But we also sent it to the front, it also flew there. But our next works were much better," says the priest.

The volunteers ordered details for the first drones on Chinese websites, but due to complicated logistics, they made the rest of the drones from components purchased in Ukraine.

"The details here are much more expensive. After all, there are many people who resell the same Chinese parts, but at much higher prices, and the demand is insane because many volunteers are now collecting drones," says the priest.

Today, according to Father Mykhailo, it takes him about two hours to assemble one drone. The most drones the volunteers managed to assemble in one day was 8.

The volunteers mark their drones in a special way - with the song "Oh, in the meadow, there is a red viburnum." According to Father Mykhailo, this immediately boosts the morale of our men.

As of now, the volunteers have already assembled 63 drones, and 25 of them are already helping our soldiers at the front. Also, Father Mykhailo has already received several reports from the military regarding the effectiveness of these drones' work.

"Our drones shot down a 'loaf' [UAZ], in which the enemies were riding, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and also disabled an APC. There is also such a famous video where a Russian tries to knock down our drone with a shovel. It was a fatal moment captured by the camera. He [the enemy] throws the shovel at the drone, but misses," shares the priest.

As the clergyman notes, now the mission of every Ukrainian is to defend their land, so assisting our army is our duty.

"Killing the enemy in war is justified. That is, it is not considered a sin because defending our land is a sacred mission that Christians fulfill. An aggressor has come, entered our territories, and in order to protect the people who live here, our military must defend our state," he points out.

According to Father Mykhailo, all drones were realized solely thanks to the help of the community. Other parishes of the community also financially contribute. Also, the "Apostolic Cohort" organization held two large charitable events, "Ukrainian Shawl - Family Tradition," and "Prayer for Christmas," during which funds were raised for drones.

Soon, Father Mykhailo, together with volunteers, will go to the front to deliver drones and other assistance to the soldiers. At the same time, they have already raised funds for new details, so after returning from the combat zone, the volunteers will continue to assemble drones.