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Russians Asked to Donate Vapes for Parts to Make Drones: Report

College students in Russia are being asked to turn in their vaping pens so their components can be used to make more combat drones, Russian independent publication Novaya Gazeta Europe has reported.

The University of Samara in southwestern Russia is organizing the initiative to help the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A so-called “Falcon” patriotic military club put collection boxes around the campus and distributed flyers that said, “1 e-cigarette = 1 drone attack on the enemy!”

According to the volunteer group, the microcircuits and batteries in the pens can be repurposed to operate ammunition release systems on kamikaze drones.

The collection drive started after some of its members were approached by “people involved in the special military operation” against Ukraine.

Apart from vaping pens, the group previously collected broken mobile phones, camping stoves, and clothing for Russian soldiers on the frontline.

Not the First Time

The collection of e-cigarettes to aid the development of loitering munitions has been done before in Ukraine.

Earlier this year, students at the Chernivtsi Polytechnic College in southwestern Ukraine set up a similar scheme to make drop mechanisms for drones.

They were also reportedly approached by Chernivtsi college graduates who are now deployed on the frontline against Russia.

In addition to drop mechanisms, the e-cigarette components were used to make power banks for Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.

More than 30 vape batteries are needed to create one powerbank that can last about 10 days, according to a report by the Kyiv Post.

Effects of Sanctions?

Russia’s move to collect vapes to make combat drones can be seen as a clear effect of the international sanctions imposed on the European nation.

A US defense official previously said that the sanctions were already biting into Russia’s arms industry, making it hard for the invading country to resupply its troops.

Among the sanctions imposed, the embargo on electronic components is reportedly one of the most difficult for Moscow since it has launched so many precision-guided missiles since the invasion began in February 2022.

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