In a bizarre incident in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, a mouse climbed onto a first-person view (FPV) drone and stayed on it until it struck a Ukrainian target.
With the camera footage capturing the entire duration from the rodent climbing onto the drone right up to the strike, Russian fighters also erected a small monument to commemorate the animal, personifying its death as a service in the war.
While it is not known when exactly the incident took place, the place has been determined to be south Donetsk, based on various posts on Russian Telegram channels. Interestingly, it was later revealed that the rodents had become a menace in Russian soldiers’ bunkers.
The amusing episode is an exciting moment in the saga of FPV loitering munitions, where an accidental wildlife casualty has been given soldierly folklore.
Interestingly, animals had become a part of the larger narrative when many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers were photographed with cats, either being adopted by frontline units or being rescued from rubble and debris. The general Slavic cultural affinity towards felines explained these warm moments.
Footage Shows Mouse On Rocket-Propelled Grenade
The drone camera footage that first originated on the FTD666 Telegram group shows a mouse on the nose of what appears to be a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) round. Based on the shape and the rotation patterns of the propellers, the drone can be assumed to be a quadcopter, strapped with the explosive to ram into enemy positions.
The mouse remains seated on the nose when the quadcopter takes off and, realizing it can’t get down, remains on the RPG round. The drone climbs to an altitude of roughly 50 meters and flies a distance of around seven to ten kilometers over plain fields to hit a bunker finally. There is no overhead footage to show the actual strike and explosion.
Symbol Of Russian Nationalism
It can be inferred that the strike was part of a planned series of attacks, where the FPV loitering UAV was stationary and remained positioned on the ground for a while before commencing the attack.
The operators would not have had time to drive the mouse away to prevent its death. However, the entire footage did create the impression that the mouse heroically participated in the strike in its fight against Ukraine.
Donetsk has been the center of emotional anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian accession movements since the late 2000s. Along with the Lugansk military, Donetsk rebelled against Kyiv’s rule, leading to the 2014 Donbas war, earning the mouse’s drone riding a Russian nationalist color.
The two regions, along with Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, voted in a September 2022 referendum to be part of the Russian Federation.
In a bizarre incident in the ongoing war between #Russia and #Ukraine, a mouse climbed onto a first-person view (FPV) drone and stayed on it until it struck a Ukrainian target. Watch pic.twitter.com/OF4r2rWO3v
— EurAsian Times (@THEEURASIATIMES) October 30, 2023
The Telegram channel first posted the video on October 23, joking that the mouse has been awarded the ‘Order of Courage’ posthumously. Two days later, FTD666 posted another message, saying, “Mice are very actively destroying our equipment.”
“They chew literally everything from socks (to) thermal imagers,” revealing the actual role of the animals on the battlefield.
This, however, did not stop comic takes on the incident, with a caricature specially created to honor the mouse’s contribution. It showed it standing atop the nose or the RPG round, with the post accompanying the cartoon saying, “Even mice beat Bandera’s supporters!!!”
Stephan Bandera was a controversial leader during World War Two in Ukraine, involved in an anti-Polish genocide that killed 100,000 ethnic Poles. Russia points to periodic rallies in support of him and other far-Right leaders in Ukraine to prove the existence of neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine.
Most ultra-nationalist Russian Telegram channels are rooted in a solid Soviet-era political philosophy. This makes “Banderites” an adversarial capturing the bitter ideological rivalry and the human casualty Russia sustained when Germany invaded. Almost all Ukrainian losses and defeats captured on cameras are celebrated as “Banderite” defeats.
Monument For Heroic Mouse
But subsequent developments about the mouse’s battlefield death are even funnier when other channels claimed that a small monument was erected to commemorate its sacrifice.
il libanese (@Ramy_Sawma) claimed in a post on X that “a monument was erected in Donetsk to a nameless mouse who died on the battlefield after climbing on a kamikaze drone during an attack on AFU positions.” A picture showed a small statue of the mouse on a roadside curb, standing on its hind legs and looking up.
There were few details on this element, but there is also no reason to doubt the claim owing to the absence of counterfacts or corrections on social media.