News from Ukraine: A provocative Ukrainian shoots down a drone with a jar of tomatoes | World | News

The woman, known as Elena, is a citizen of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, who decided to stay home as Vladimir Putin’s forces stepped up their attacks across the country. While an estimated two million Ukrainians are believed to have fled the country since the Russian invasion more than a week ago, Elena was one of many who chose to stay.

Many other brave Ukrainians have chosen to stay, either to help their country’s armed forces fight back against Russian troops, or to help others who cannot leave by providing aid and medical support.

Elena told Ukrainian news site Liga.net.ua that she was sitting on the balcony of her Kiev apartment when a suspicious drone suddenly appeared.

She said she was worried it would shoot her and quickly grabbed a jar of pickled tomatoes from under her chair and threw it at the device to knock it over.

His good aim knocked him out of the air and he crashed to the ground.

Elena and her husband said they stomped on the drone and distributed coins to different bins in case the device could be tracked.

She told the news site that she suspected the drone could have been used by looters looking for empty apartments to break into and steal after so many homes were abandoned after Ukrainians fled the capital.

The Russian military is also known to have built up an arsenal of reconnaissance drones that can be used to stake out enemy territory before an attack, although reports of their use during the current conflict have been limited.

Elena’s story was first shared by Liubov Tsybulska, a Ukrainian government adviser, who tweeted about the incident.

At first, it was thought that Elena’s chosen weapon was a jar of cucumbers.

Ms Tsybulska said: “In Kiev, a woman knocked over a Russian drone from a balcony with a jar of cucumbers. How did they think they were occupying this country?”

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She later confirmed that the object used to bring down the drone was actually a jar of pickled tomatoes after Liga Net found Elena.

The outlet confirmed that Elena lives in Dniprovskyi, an urban district of the city of Kiev, and works in a small store in the neighborhood that sells household items.

She said she decided “instantly” that she would not leave her hometown after the Russians invaded the country, instead pledging to stay and help in the fight.

She said she would continue to fight and “do whatever it takes” to stop Russia.

Convoys of civilians are due to leave a number of towns near the Ukrainian capital on Wednesday, regional chief Oleksiy Kuleba confirmed, as Russian forces continued to shell areas near the city.

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Ukraine said it had agreed a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia for six routes out of the war zone, the BBC reported, with the first groups having already left the city.

Russian shelling continued to intensify near the capital on Wednesday with new reports of civilian deaths as Russia stepped up its attacks this week.

Ten people are believed to have died in Severodonetsk, east of Kiev, and five people were reportedly killed in nearby Malyn.

An airstrike on Sumy in northeastern Ukraine on Monday night also reportedly leveled six houses and killed 22 people, including three children.

Christi C. Elwood