LondonCNN — In early November, drone video surfaced online appearing to show a targeted strike blowing up three antennas on the roof of an apartment block. The Ukrainian drone commander who posted it claimed to have destroyed a Russian Pole-21 electronic warfare system on the eastern front near Donetsk.

Ukraine is already racing to catch up with Russia when it comes to electronic warfare.

This attack also shows how Kyiv is rushing to destroy Moscow’s technology on the battlefield – a sign of how important it may be for the future of the war.

Electronic warfare, or EW, involves weapons or tactics using the electromagnetic spectrum. It is being employed by both militaries in this conflict, predominantly through electronic jammers that throw off GPS guided targeting systems, causing rockets to miss their targets.

After almost six months of Ukraine’s slow and grinding counteroffensive, it’s clear Russia has not just built up physical defenses but formidable electronic ones, and Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines are having to adapt quickly.

Pavlo Petrychenko, the drone commander with Ukraine’s 59th Motorized Brigade, which carried out the early November strike, says successfully destroying these systems is critical if Ukraine is to liberate more territory. The video he posted on social media is one of a growing number of Ukrainian military and media reports of successful strikes against Pole-21 systems alone, since the summer.

“At the beginning of the conflict, they used electronic warfare to interfere with our communication, our walkie-talkies, radiocommunications, telephones, drones,” he told CNN on a video call from near Avdiivka on the eastern front, the current site of some of the fiercest fighting in the war.

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