Ukraine Army Is Using 'Terminator Drones' to 'Scare Russians' Into Retreat

Terminator Drones Ukraine Russia Military Scare Tactic
Igor Novikov, former adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said that Ukrainian troops were chasing Russian forces with commercial drones disguised to look like machinery from the "Terminator" film series. Above, a robot is pictured outside of the premiere of "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" in Los Angeles, California, on June 30, 2003. SGranitz/WireImage/Getty

A former adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Ukraine's military is using "Terminator drones" to trick Russian soldiers into thinking they are being chased by "Skynet."

Former Zelensky aide Igor Novikov shared what he called an "uplifting story" with MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace after discussing Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine during a Thursday interview on Deadline: White House. Novikov said that Ukrainian troops were chasing Russians using commercial drones disguised to appear similar to equipment from the fictional Skynet, the powerful artificial intelligence network that becomes self-aware and attempts to eradicate humans in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator film series.

"This clever, creative solution that our soldiers have found not to waste ammunition, not to waste artillery shells [is] ... take a commercial drone, with a camera, and camouflage it to look like something out of the worst Terminator movie," Novikov said. "So, it looks incredibly scary. Then they fly that drone around the place where the Russian soldiers are."

"What would you do if you're a Russian soldier and you see something that belongs to Skynet?" he continued. "You run. Where do you run to? You run to your mama. Because you don't have your mama, you run to your base. And that way, they lead us to their bases and no camouflage works against that, and then our artillery just shoots at the base ... And we don't waste any shells."

In addition to the disguised commercial drones, which would not be able to launch attacks alone despite being made to appear menacing, Ukrainian forces are also using armed military drones capable of real attacks on Russian troops and military equipment.

Last month, Ukraine's military released a video of one of its Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones destroying equipment brought by the invading Russian army. On Wednesday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that the U.S. had sent 100 Switchblade tactical drones to Europe for use by the Ukraine military.

A viral video shared on social media by Terminator star Schwarzenegger last month featured the actor telling Russian soldiers "the truth" about the war, asserting that they had been lied to by their government. Schwarzenegger also directly appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to end the war.

Schwarzenegger's video was reportedly poorly received by Russian state media, prompting at least one reference to the Terminator series. In an opinion article published by the tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda last month, Russian powerlifting champion Maryana Naumova complained that Schwarzenegger had decided to "side with Skynet."

"Do you remember how in the second part of the Terminator, your hero goes back in time to prevent the creation of Skynet, which would bring the death of all mankind?" Naumova wrote, according to The Daily Beast. "Russia's special military operation does not aim to destroy the Ukrainian people."

"It is aimed at the neo-Nazi Skynet, which over the years has completely subjugated Ukraine and was about to turn into an uncontrollable monster, dangerous for all of its neighbors, not only for us," she continued. "Don't side with Skynet, Terminator."

Newsweek reached out to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and the Embassy of Russia in Washington, D.C., for comment.