It’s frequently been said war is hell, and now dark mockery is being thrown into its merciless mix. Evidence of that came with a video uploaded by Ukraine drone unit Aerorozvidka illustrating what it calls the “dronephobia” affliction of an apparent Russian target on the ground melting down at the approach of a hostile UAV.
It’s impossible to know whether the footage uploaded Monday was staged as communications content, intended as a pointed joke, or is actual footage of someone madly zigzagging about to dodge munitions expected to be dropped by the UAV overhead capturing the entire scene. The meaning of the video, however, is evident in all of those cases. In featuring someone afflicted by what it calls dronephobia, Aerorozvidka is offering a jeering reminder of just how effectively Ukraine drones – military, homemade, and store bought alike – have battered the flesh and gotten into minds of invading Russian forces.
Indeed, the unclear genesis of the footage – whether performed by allies for propaganda purposes or real footage of an enemy’s panicked freakout – make its mockery of the fear depicted all the more potent.
Adding to that is the backing soundtrack of what sounds like (ironically, in this case) a cheesy Soviet era rendition of a ditty from a Benny Hill skit. The evident intent of Aerorozvidka’s dronephobia video is to demonstrate how badly and immediately the Russian enemy loses its doo-doo now that Ukraine’s drones have mercilessly blasted their positions and deeply penetrated their heads.
The process of how the aerially inspired affliction progresses is explained in Aerorozvidka’s text accompanying its “What Dronephobia Looks Like” video.
Because Aerorozvidka and other units are defending Ukraine from Russia’s unprovoked and often merciless invasion by using whatever drones however they can get aloft, it’s not surprising responses to the video echoed its somewhat vindictive, careful-what-you-wish-for thrust.
Indeed, one commentor heaped even more derision on to it – whether in earnest or in jest is equally ambiguous – by describing how the “drone wears its victim down, then moves in for the kill.” Though that coda is not in the footage, it wouldn’t be a novel outcome in Ukraine UAV deployment.
Aerorozvidka and allied forces have been as potent in their use of messaging videos – often laced with biting humor – as they have been in flying UAVs to bloody invading Russian forces and undermine their morale. No matter the exact origins of its drone video, Aerorozvidka’s dronephobia post marks another reflection of the different kinds of hell Russia’s war in Ukraine has unleashed.