President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine announced the creation of the Unmanned Systems Forces, a new branch within the Ukrainian Armed Forces dedicated solely to drones. This initiative, unveiled on February 6, underscores the pivotal role that unmanned and robotic systems are playing in the ongoing conflict with Russia. Zelensky emphasized that drones have demonstrated their effectiveness in land, air, and sea battles, notably altering the security dynamics in the Black Sea and playing a crucial role in repelling ground assaults.
The establishment of the Unmanned Systems Forces is set to streamline the use of drones, focusing on the creation of drone-specific units, ramping up training, systemizing their application, and boosting both production and innovation. The development comes as Ukraine seeks to bolster its defense capabilities against Russia, which has seen extensive use of drones and missile strikes against Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. The creation of a dedicated drone branch is a rare move globally, with Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institution noting the uniqueness of such a military structure.