«Crimean Federal University» trains Russian military operators of FPV-drones

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The Crimean Federal University, set up by Russian occupants on the basis of stolen Ukrainian Tavriisky National University named after Vernadsky, launched school for training civilian and Russian military operators of kamikaze drones. 

The Center for Journalist Investigations identified all persons involved in training Russian military operators of drones. 

All spheres of life have been gradually militarized on Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia. One of the most remarkable examples is so-called Crimean Federal University set up by Russian occupants after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Military training center has been opened two years ago within the university. Its students are trained in accordance with military training programs for officers, sergeants and soldiers. 

Ukrainian universities also have military chairs but integration of the Crimean Federal University into the Russian Armed Forces is far deeper. 

«The Center of drones» started its work in Crimean University in 2023. It has been sports unit for students at the beginning but in August 2023 it has been turned into the hub of program «Safe City» implemented by the occupation Ministry of Internal Affairs.  

Screenshots of video of Russian propagandists about training Crimean policemen as operators of drones. Collage: investigator.org.ua

Crimean policemen have been trained to operate drones for distant monitoring of the public order. Then, the unit has been reorganized into the project and named «High technology student sports», and later – «The Center of drones».

In August 2023, its representatives announced that they trained more than 70 operators of drones. Three training points are set up in Simferopol. One training point is expected to be opened soon in Yalta. 

According to organizers, the school trains 10 operators per two weeks. If it is true, then, in September, the Center could have prepared 20 operators. It is able to train 120 operators for the war against Ukraine within half a year. 

Скріншот з відео про тренування окупантів з БПЛА на полігоні десь на ТОТ Півдня України., Колаж: investigator.org.ua

Screenshot of video about training operators of drones on testing ground on temporarily occupied territories in Southern Ukraine. Collage: investigator.org.ua

It seems that «the Center of drones» is among leading projects of the Crimean Federal University. Russian occupants plan to scale it up. 

The University held the conference titled «Regulation, exploitation, production and training of IT specialists of the Republic of Crimea» on October 9.

Скріншоти з відеосюжету про науково-практичну сіссію в КФУ, 09.10.2023 р., джерело: YouTube-канал КФУ. Колаж: investigator.org.ua

Screenshots of video about conference in the Crimean Federal University, 09.10.2023, source: YouTube channel of the University. Collage: investigator.org.ua

The conference focused on monitoring program «Safe City» of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, school of operators of drones etc. 

Ігор Бойко Джерело фото: YouTube-канал КФУ

Ihor Boiko. Source of photo: YouTube channel of the Crimean Federal University 

Ihor Gennadiyovych Boiko has been the key organizer and promoter of the «drone project» since its inception. This collaborator was born in Alushta. He studied philosophy in the Crimean Federal University. He has headed the student council for three years. 

Ihor Kyiko. Source of photo: YouTube channel of the Crimean Federal University 

Ihor Oleksandrovych Kyiko is another Crimean collaborator and loser-politician. In 2015, he ran for the occupation State Council of Crimea. In 2016, he ran for the State Duma of the Russian Federation. He did not succeed. Now he is the director of sports club of the Crimean Federal University. The Center for drones has been set up on the basis of this club. 

Boiko, the head of «drone project», said that there are only two qualified trainers in the Center for drones. They are university students. 

Олександр Олександрович Грицаєнко Джерело фото: YouTube-канал КФУ. Колаж: investigator.org.ua

Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Grytsaenko. Source of photo: YouTube channel of the Crimean Federal University. Collage: investigator.org.ua

Oleksandr  Oleksandrovych Grytsaenko is the first trainer. He is the resident of Simferopol. He studies at the Law Faculty of the University and at the Center of drones.  

Daniil Lunev and acting rector of the Crimean Federal University. 29.09.2023 р. Source of photo: Russian social media VKontakte

The second trainer is Daniil Vladimirovich Lunev. He was born in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan and came to study in Crimea in 2019. 

Lunev is the director of «Fund for Development and Support of the Crimean Federal University». In September 2023, the Fund has been praised by commanders of the Russian 18th Army «for technological and scientific support during special military operation».

There are other workers in the Center. 

«There are specialists who agreed to work in the University. There are managers, technologists and professionals who operate drones better than they drive a car», as Ihor Boiko told Russian propagandists. 

Віталій Максимович Сауляк Джерело фото: YouTube-канал КФУ. Колаж: investigator.org.ua

Vitalii Maksymovych Sauljak. Source of photo: YouTube channel of the Crimean Federal University 

Vitalii Maksymovych Sauljak is such a specialist.  He is presented as the leading specialist on avia modeling sports of the Voluntary Association to Support Army, Air Forces and Fleet of the Russian Federation. The Center for Journalist Investigations highlighted his activity as the first head and co-founder of company «Roboavia». It was created on the basis of avia modeling unit at Zavodske air field in Crimea. The company was sold to Russians from Rostov. Now it manufactures drones for the Russian Armed Forces and builds new factory in Rostov region. 

Ihor Boiko reported that the Crimean Center has also trained colleagues from other Russian occupation universities. It is planned to open similar Center and school in Melitopol University. 

Representatives of Russian BARS-32 («volunteer battalion named after Sudplatov») also reported about manufacturing of FPV-drones and the launch of training center. 

Source of photo: telegram channel of Evhen Balytsky, Russian «head of Zaporizhzhia». Collage: investigator.org.ua

Active development of drones by Russian occupants has already impacted the situation at the front line. Yurii Fedorenko, the commander of the company of attack drones of the Ukrainian 92nd separate motorized infantry brigade, recently reported that the Russian Armed Forces had more drones than the Ukrainian troops. As he said, one group of Russian operators could use 50 FPV-drones per day…