Countless awe-inspiring stories of courage and grit have come out of Ukraine in the past few days. One such act of bravery was highlighted by Liubov Tsybulska, an advisor to the Ukrainian government, over the weekend. Tsybulska said a woman in Kyiv had taken down a Russian drone by slinging a jar of cucumbers at it from her balcony. “How did they expect to occupy this country?” she asked her followers on Twitter.
While many were quick to dismiss the incident as fiction, a local news organization persevered and managed to trace down the gutsy woman with a novel anti-drone strategy.
Her name is Elena. She lives in Dniprovskyi, an urban district in the city of Kyiv, and works at a small shop in the neighborhood that sells household supplies such as soap and washing powder.
Elena says she was sitting on her balcony, smoking in the wee hours of the morning, when she saw something float by in the distance. “Is it a beaten-down crow?” she wondered, before noticing a faint buzzing sound. Elena had never seen a drone before, but as the flying machine came closer, she realized it was no bird.
Sensing something sinister was afoot, the mother of two ran into the house and grabbed the first thing she saw: a big jar of canned tomatoes. And she threw that jar at the drone with all her might.
I was afraid. I thought it may start firing at me. But what a pity for those tomatoes… they were my favorite!
The jar hit the target and the drone came crashing down. Elena and her husband then trampled the wreckage, disposing of the machine’s parts in various garbage cans – afraid that the Russian soldiers may be able to track down the remains.
I do not understand electronics. But later that day, suspicious young men showed up at the entrance of our building. I asked them loudly what did they want and they fled away quickly. Maybe they were looters looking for apartments without occupants.
Elena says she doesn’t know why people thought it was a jar of cucumbers that were used to take down the drone. All she knows is that she wants to help rebuild her country once the war is over.
I’m not going anywhere from Kyiv. I decided so instantly. This is my home, my land. I will stand, gnaw, fight, and fight some more. I’ll do all that is necessary.