A new weapon is heading to Ukraine, which could help protect its cities from missiles. It’s named after a famous Raccoon.
Since months, NAFO (North Atlantic Fella Organisation), has been fighting Russian propaganda on social media and raising thousands of dollars to support Ukraine’s army.
The “Fellas”, as they are commonly known, is a rowdy group of online comrades with an eye for dog memes and easily identifiable by their Shiba Inu profile photos.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a representative of United24, asked NAFO if they wanted to raise funds to buy a navy drone.
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United24 is attempting to build a fleet 100 sea drones. This challenge comes after what Ukraine said was a attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, exclusively using unmanned vessels.
The fellas were able to raise $250,000 (PS205,000), in just a few weeks. They have now named their drone Raccoon’s Revolt.
What is the meaning of this name? It has a very long tail.
Russian forces were preparing to withdraw from Kherson, in the face Ukrainian offensives last week. However, strange footage emerged that showed animals being taken from the local Zoo, including a raccoon.
“The Raccoon of Kherson”, a Russian celebrity, has been used by Russian paratroopers as a mascot.
Evidently, the fellas believe the raccoon is not forgetting its Ukrainian roots. In a poll of over 11,000 people, the moniker Raccoon’s Revenge beat names like Aqua Bonker 9000 and HMS Bonquerer.
NAFO raises money to help Ukraine
“I was partial HMS Bonqueror, but Racoon’s Revenge was the community decision,” said Pete, a US Army veteran and current fella to Sky News.
He said: “If a Russian warship is taken out by a drone crowdfunded NAFO, that might not be easy to top in terms of humour.
“And with the thousands upon thousands of mortar and artillery bullets, the dozens of vehicles, artillery pieces, and the rest, that’s quite a high bar to reach.”
Pete is also involved in the forge, a team of designers who create custom “fella” avatars for donors to Ukraine.
He said, “I’d love to highlight the fellas at the forge who make the diverse, high-creative profile photos for donation.
This whole thing would be impossible without them. They are the glue that holds it all together. Kama and me would not have been able to keep up without them.”
NAFO has raised huge amounts – up to a million dollars, according to some accounts – for the Ukrainian military. Their tongue-in-cheek humor has proven popular online.
They are everywhere. Even painted on a 2S7 Pion self propelled gun called “Super Bonker 9000”.
United24 tweeted: “You did that, you incredible doggos!”
“As of this morning $255,546 has been raised for #NAFOdrone!”
“Thank you to all fellas for making this possible, for every #nafofleet and every donation. Raccoon’s revenge is not negotiable. Thanks to all of you.
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Why are sea drones so useful?
What are naval drones such as the Raccoon’s Revenge? Have they ever been used in wars before?
Russia claims that 16 maritime drones were involved with the attack on the Black Sea fleet, near Sevastopol, in October. Two ships sustained damage.
United24 claims three Russian vessels, including the flagship Admiral Makarov, were damaged.
The naval drones funded by United24 measure 5.5m in length, can travel up to 800km (500 mi), and can carry up to 200kg of combat load.
Moscow has used missiles from Russian warships to destroy Ukraine’s power networks, which has plunged cities into darkness. Ukraine hopes that naval drones will be able to disrupt these ships.
Sky News spoke to Paul Lushenko, a US Army Lieutenant Colonel and drone warfare specialist who stated that maritime drones are “just an additional axis” to attack Russian assets.
“There are only so many target acquisition methods on these beautiful boats these days.
“And so, when you have a swarm of capabilities, how can you prioritize targets?”