Russian students are being asked to donate their vapes so the parts can be used in combat drones, report says

  • Russian students are being asked to turn in their vapes, per a report.

  • A group organizing the push said the circuits and batteries can be used in drones.

  • Russia is pushing hard to produce more weaponry for its invasion of Ukraine.

Students at a Russian university are asking their peers to donate their vapes to help the Russian military, a report said.

Their components can be repurposed to make drones for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to Russian publication Novaya Gazeta Europe.

The "Falcon patriotic military club" in Russia's University of Samara is collecting vape pens, distributing flyers, and putting collection boxes around campus, the report said.

The group's flyer said that the military can make use of circuits and batteries in particular, the report said.

They are said to be easily adapted to help operate ammunition release systems.

The flyer — seen here on the Russian social network VKontakte — is a riff on the famous Soviet "Nyet!" poster encouraging citizens to refuse alcohol.

A Soviet poster shows a man in a suit refusing a glass of alcohol while eating, with the word "Het!" above him
The Soviet anti-drinking propaganda poster which inspired the vape-donation campaign.USSR

The new version said "1 e-cigarette = 1 drone attack on the enemy!" according to Ukrainian outlet the Kyiv Post's translation of the report.

The group said it started the collection effort after it was approached by "people involved in the special military operation," which is how Russia describes its war, according to the Kyiv Post.

The Falcon patriotic military club was founded in 2008 by the university's Military Department.

The group has been collecting items for Russia's troops, including faulty mobile phones, camping stoves, clothing and food, since the invasion began in February 2022, the Kyiv Post reported.

Both Russia and Ukraine are using repurposed parts to fight the war.

Ukraine is making decoy weapons to try and fool Russia into wasting its expensive weapons.

A Ukrainian company says it is repurposing Russian oil barrels to make fake radar reflectors, and a project in Ukraine is using vapes too, for charging drones and night-vision gear.

Russia and Ukraine are also boosting their own domestic weapons manufacturing, trying to reduce their reliance on being donated or purchasing weapons from other countries.

This includes Ukraine trying to ramp up its own production of missiles, drones, and ammunition, in the hope of making itself less reliant on donations from its Western allies.

Russia has relied on Iran for many of the drones it uses in Ukraine. It is now working to manufacture a version of an Iranian drone within Russia, according to one research group.

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