Voluntary service in the Ukraine conflict: Maria Berlinska goes off to war

This is a woman who studied Jewish history and organised festivals with feminist bands. Then she volunteered to go to war. Why?

Maria Berlinska on the frontline in Awdijiwka. Next to her is the commander of the operation Foto: Olena Maksimenko

KIEW/AWDIJIWKA TAZ | In the evening of one hot day in July, while Kalashnikov rifles sound off at the foot of a hill, Maria is searching for the wind. She trudges through the waist-high, bone-dry grass, raises her right arm high, feels for movements in the air and continues up the hill. The soldiers, who are dragging a large wooden crate for her, run behind her like little chickens following their mother hen. Maria Berlinska is running out of time. The wind was too strong throughout the day and soon the sun will go down. Berlinska has been preparing herself for this moment for weeks. She was expected here at the front. Today she will fly her drone.

Maria Berlinska, 28 years old, investigates where the enemy is for the Ukrainian army. The enemy are the troops fighting for the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, which are recognized by no other country in the world as such, and which are two regions in the East of Ukraine supported by Russia. Berlinska is in Awdijiwka, one of the most fought-over areas at the front, which is diplomatically called the 'line of contact’. Awdijiwka is located around 13 kilometres north of Donetsk and is controlled by the Ukrainian army.

Using her drone, a small aircraft made out of styrofoam, Maria Berlinska wants to investigate what Ukrainian soldiers cannot detect on the ground. Where are the enemy’s mortar shells coming from? Are the enemy combatants hidden in a pit somewhere over there?

Maria Berlinska wears a camouflage T-shirt and trousers, but she’s not a soldier. For a year and a half, she has voluntarily gone to the front line without being paid to do so. She does this again and again, for a few weeks at a time. She is part of a Ukrainian voluntary movement. A lawyer from Odessa gathers funds and buys cars with it, which he then gives to the army. Ukrainian Orthodox Christians in Germany have put a donation box for the army in their church. A man, who was originally studying Management in Warsaw, has returned to his country and volunteered as a soldier.

The Ministry of Defence in Kiev doesn’t have precise figures or reliable estimates on the number of these volunteer soldiers. President Petro Poroshenko stated a year ago that 35,000 volunteer soldiers had fought for the Ukrainian side since spring 2014. This is out of a total of 210,000 soldiers who were mobilised. Andriy Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador in Germany, once said that without the voluntary fighters his country’s army would have lost the war in the East a long time ago. It is clear that the state is counting on the volunteers.

The conflicting sides: In the East of Ukraine, the Ukranian army is fighting separatists and Russian soldiers. The conflict concerns the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which were declared independent without international recognition.

Background: In November 2013, the Ukranian president Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement with the EU. Tens of thousands of people staged protests. Yanukovych fled to Russia. People protested against this development, especially in the East of the country. There is evidence that the Russian government was behind some of the demonstrations. In April 2014, the Ukranian government began an "anti-terrorism campaign" in East Ukraine. In March, after a referendum, Russia annexed the peninsula of Crimea.

Peace negotiations: A contact group from Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE have negotiated several ceasefires, the most recent of which came into force in September. The OSCE is continually identifying breaches of the agreement.

But why does a person like Maria Berlinska voluntarily go to war?

“I don’t want to kill anyone. I also know that the people who die in this war will not be the ones who started it“, Berlinska says. “But violence is not stopped with books and flowers“.

Two months before she let her drone fly up from a hill at the front, she was sitting on the kitchen floor of her flat in Kiev. She was sharing a flat with a man who worked in the Ministry of Economy. The May sun shone through the balcony window, and Berlinska was wearing a knitted sweater with polar bears on it, perching on a blanket and clutching a cup of tea. She was already at the front, she says. Soon she would go there again. There are dark shadows around her eyes. Her voice is raw.

Why do you do it?

“I don’t want to have what Putin and his supporters call the Russian world here in Kiev. So I must help stop them in Donbass“.

What is the Russian world?

“Total control and homophobia. It is a world which is only concerned with power“.

Is Russia evil?

“Nonsense. Some of my ancestors came from Russia and Russians have paid for my bulletproof vest. Good people live there. However, Vladimir Putin has seized their state“.

You could leave the country.

“And then what? You cannot appease an aggressive dictator by retreating. Today it will be us, but tomorrow it will be another country in Europe“.

Maria Berlinska operates her drone on a hill near Awdijiwka. Everyone watches her Foto: Olena Maksimenko

If Maria Berlinska wants to say something, she only moves her lips as much as is absolutely necessary, as if the corners of her mouth were frozen.

Berlinska's background

Her parents are from Eastern Ukraine, but for a long time they have lived in the west of the country. As a child, Maria Berlinska lived in a village near the city Kamianets-Podilskyi, 400 km south-west of Kiev. It is an old city, founded in the 12th century and once inhabited by Jews, Poles, Ukrainians and Armenians. In World War Two, the Germans killed more than 20,000 Jews here. Berlinska grew up with her parents and grandparents, she says, and the connection she feels to her country stems from this time in her life, particularly from the stories and songs of her childhood. Her love for literature slowly developed as time went on – poems by Schadan and Goethe, books by Dante, Chekhov and Salinger.

After college she studied Jewish History in Kiev, at one of the oldest universities in the country. As well as that, she organised Festivals and brought feminist bands to her home country. Then the Euromaidan Revolution began, between November 2013 and February 2014, which forced the President Yanukovych into exile.

Maria Berlinska turns around to face the soldiers and points with her right hand to a spot of grass. They should put the crate down here. Berlinska folds open the cover to reveal two wings next to each other and, below them, the aircraft’s fuselage. One of the men takes the parts out. Maria Berlinska is the pilot and he is the operator. He helps her to launch the drone and takes care of technical difficulties. He is now inserting the wings into the sides of the fuselage. The drone is ready.

The Maidan principle

In February 2014, the fourth month of the protest, violence escalated in Kiev’s main square, Maidan. Snipers shot at protesters. More than one hundred people died, including many police officers. Maria Berlinska was at the square.

The operator throws the drone up into the air like a child with a paper plane Foto: Olena Maksimenko

Since then, she says, she has lived in the moment. She no longer makes any plans. Life can end at any moment, she tells us.

This month, Maria Berlinska has experienced how strangers are willing to share their food and how volunteer paramedics dress wounds. The Maidan principle: everyone helps each other out.

For a long time, people in Ukraine tried to get by as best as possible, which also meant that people turned a blind eye to other injustices which were taking place, Maria explains. It was only until the Euromaidan revolution, Maria goes on to say, that people felt like there could be a different approach to life, other than trying to trick each other. An alternative to the official, corrupt structures. An alternative to a state where ministers and police officers alike take bribes.

Maria Berlinska is not only fighting the separatist army and Russians in the East, but she is also fighting for what type of country the Ukraine will be one day. She is part of a movement, which is bigger than the military’s supporters. In the Ministry of Science, a quantum physicist is voluntarily compiling the paperwork for an education reform and, in Kiev, a film director is organising Christmas parties for internally displaced persons. Many volunteers, as they are called in Ukraine, see themselves as part of a better parallel society.

After the revolution

In the spring of 2014, shortly after the end of the revolution, the first fights between Ukrainian soldiers and separatists in the East of Ukraine broke out. Soon there was evidence that the Russian government was inciting tensions in Donbass. In June 2014, tanks suddenly appeared among opponents of the Ukrainian government and, from August, their troops were losing ground.

During these weeks, Berlinska was sitting in her living room, reading a constant stream of new, contradictory reports about the fighting in East Ukraine. Anything seemed possible to her. The Russian army could soon be in Kiev, the Ukrainian army could recapture Donbass, a third world war could break out. One thing was clear: Hundreds of Ukrainians were dying. She was chain-smoking, couldn’t sleep at night and spoke a lot with friends. Should she go off to fight?

She rang up different units. They didn’t want her, because she is a woman. So she went to the Aidar battalion, a voluntary group. The men and women in this group go to the front poorly equipped- some only have hunting rifles or no weapons at all. They help themselves to what their dead friends and enemies leave behind. To many Ukrainians they are heroes.

In the battalion they needed somebody who could fly drones and who could explain how the enemy soldiers were moving. Berlinska learnt how to steer copters, small machines with four, six or eight rotors, which are relatively easy to operate.

There are good people living in Russia. But Vladimir Putin has hijacked their nation”

On 1 September 2015, she arrived at the Front and the very next day she travelled to Shchastya, which means 'luck’ in Russian. There she experienced war for the first time. The Kalashnikov rifles sounded as if someone was drumming on metal. 'I was afraid because war is really terrifying. I wanted to leave and never come back. At the same time, I was ashamed, because I was so afraid and because I had not come earlier.’

Idealism: Military historians name the Spanish Civil War as the first war in which volunteers played an important role. In the international brigades, British nobles fought alongside Communists and Jews from 1936 onwards. Whether it’s judged as idealism or madness depends on the observer. Many who fight for the IS see themselves as idealists, but their enemies do not see it so.

A thirst for adventure: Even during the crusades, the desire to take risks was a reason to go to war. At the beginning of the First World War, volunteers wanted to take part in heroic battles. In recent years, the German Armed Forces has been training young people with "Adventure Camps".

Maria Berlinska does not want to kill. But she does

Maria Berlinska flies copter drones. She loves the feeling of controlling the little machines as they fly. For the first time, she is considering training to get her pilot’s licence once the war is over.

During Maidan, she learned that people can take their fate into their own hands. During the first weeks of the war, she decided that she wanted to play her part. The first few days on the frontline showed her how scared she was, but something else as well – that she enjoyed having power over the sky.

She asked her commanders not to put her in a position where she is directly responsible for killing people. They came to an arrangement that reflects her desire not to hurt others, her will to protect her country and her love of flying.

“I would use my gun if someone attacked me, if I had to“. She enjoys her role of scout, helping her soldiers to survive. “But I am well aware that reconnaissance has another side to it,“ she says. “Part of my job is to kill people“.

How to fly a drone

Maria Berlinska wants to be good at what she does. Copters like those she flew on her first mission cannot fly very high or be in the air for very long, but some drones have that capability. They look like miniature aircraft and are the ones Berlinska wants to be able to operate.

Dmitri Starostin taught Maria Berlinska how to fly a drone Foto: Olena Maksimenko

The drone sits on a three-legged camping stool. It looks like one of those chunky, rounded planes from Donald Duck cartoons. Maria Berlinska sits cross-legged in front of an open suitcase, in which a computer is set up. The screen shows the view from the camera on top of the drone. At the moment it is her colleague’s midriff. The computer should now recognise the drone’s location, but the connection is not working. Berlinska’s colleague holds the drone by its wings and takes a few steps back. “Stop, stop, stop!“ calls Maria Berlinska. At the foot of the hill, behind the trees, they are shooting again.

Dmitri Starostin taught Maria Berlinska how to fly a small drone like that one. That was in autumn two years ago in a field on the outskirts of Kiev, behind an old print shop and a petrol station.

Now, two summers later, the flying teacher stood in the same field in Kiev. There is smoke rising from the neighbouring gardens and the smell of burnt plants hangs in the air. Dmitri Starostin watches as two soldiers learn how to land a drone. The white aircraft releases a parachute, jerks backwards, then slowly floats to the ground. Starostin, 47, is an art director for a television channel. He wears sandals on his bare feet and 'Road Tripping’ is written across his T-shirt.

Dmitri Starostin is now working as a teacher for the Centre for Air Reconnaissance, founded and run by Maria Berlinska. Free of charge, he teaches people who are going to the frontline everything that he taught Berlinska two years ago. 150 students have passed through the centre, including ten women. Berlinska was Starostin’s first student.

It was October 2014 when she came to him. They trained for two weeks. The little planes crashed repeatedly and every evening one or two need repairing. The most difficult thing has been teaching Maria Berlinska not to drop the drone on anybody’s head. “Not to kill anyone with it,“ he says.

But killing – surely that is exactly what you do, right?

“We teach our soldiers so that they can keep themselves alive“, says Dmitri Starostin. “The army is poorly equipped, many young men and women are sent off to fight with little training and die because they don’t know where the enemy is“. Yes, he knows that the information his students gather is fatal for people fighting on the other side. “I wish I had better options“, says Starostin, “but, if in doubt, I choose to save the lives of our soldiers“.

Starostin is not usually paid for the lessons he teaches. But the petrol station at the edge of the field provides Maria Berlinska’s school with 60 litres of free fuel per month.

Berlinska does not earn money from the school she founded either. She must use other means to scrape together the roughly 500 dollars she needs per month. Occasionally, she still organises concerts or performs research for scientific studies.

The volunteer setup, the support of many – it works well in the enthusiasm of the moment. And in the tents of Maidan, which are taken down again after a few months. But does it work in an armed conflict, the length of which no one can predict?

Tension between volunteers and “professionals“

Maria Berlinska looks back to the cars in which her troops drove up the hill today. The Jeeps and minibuses are parked near a cemetry. There is a van with a red cross on its side – they call this the tablet. Inside it waits an old man who has lost almost all his teeth – he is the paramedic. He is here in case something happens.

At a Ukranian base in Avdiivka, there is an old armoured scout vehicle Foto: Volodymyr Kukha

Though the fighting went to and fro in the early days, it is increasingly becoming a static war. Approximately 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers and around 38,000 separatists and Russians today stand on opposite sides along a 500km front. These figures were provided by the Ukrainian government and cannot be confirmed. According to the latest ceasefire agreement, both sides must cease using heavy weapons. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), whose job it is to ensure that the two sides are not fighting one another, is continually identifying breaches of the agreement.

In this delicate situation, the relationship between the volunteers and the government’s armed forces is complicated. Many volunteers feel contempt for the high-ranking officers, because they hold them responsible for the Ukranian army’s defeats. The volunteers do not trust the generals, just as they do not trust the government. Many officers, however, look down on the volunteers because they lack proper training.

Amnesty International accuses members of volunteer battalions of theft and abduction. One report also mentions the Aidar battalion, in which Maria Berlinska has fought. According to the report, the soldiers tortured civilians who they accused of collaborating with the separatists. Men and women from the Aidar battalion had fascist symbols tattooed on their bodies and painted on their cars.

Since then, the volunteers have been integrated into the army or the Internal Troops of Ukraine. This was at the demand of countries such as the USA, Canada and Germany, but the government in Kiev also had fears that the militia would become too powerful.

Building drones

A soldier with a Kalashnikov has laid down in the grass and looks up at the sky. The operator holds the drone in his right hand like a massive paper aeroplane. “On three,“ says Maria Berlinska, and he starts running, ras, dwa, tri, one, two, three… the propellor begins to whirr and two seconds later the white of the plane becomes blurred against the clouds and the blue of the evening sky. The drone’s humming can still be heard, even though the machine itself is now out of sight. “Good,“ says Maria Berlinska. They all join her sitting in front of the screen. The drone camera shows trees, fields scorched by the sun and a lake sparkling like liquid gold.

As months of the war go by, even the volunteers are becoming more professional. In winter 2015, Maria Berlinska bought a better drone. She ordered component parts on the internet for around 3,600 euros and volunteers assembled them. At the same time, Berlinska founded her school for air reconnaissance. She raised money and persuaded drone pilots, engineers and electronics experts to teach there.

Oleksandr Schendekow is one of them. He educates her students about electronics, navigation and how to operate a camera. Sometimes he also shows them how drones are built, which is his specialism. He has built little copters for use on the frontline and finally begun to construct the first Ukranian reconnaissance drone that meets military standards. Anyone who wants to know how the Ukranian volunteers became professional needs to meet him.

The factory and the company

The Coffee House is the Russian equivalent of Starbucks and can also be found in Ukraine. It is filled with tables made from dark wood and armchairs with patterned cushions. Schendekow refused to meet in the factory where the first Ukranian military drones are produced. “We don’t even take our customers to where production takes place,“ he says. “Nobody can know where the factory is.“ Oleksandr Schendekow is a slim man with long eyelashes and a musketeer-style beard.

He is an expert at making individual components work together in the smoothest way possible. The drone manufacturing began as a volunteer organisation and somewhat kickstarted the war. The website is called People’s Project and is where donations can be made for weapons, military training and repairing naval vessels. A list shows how much money needs to be raised, what percentage has already been collected and how many people have donated. 'First People’s UAV Complex’, the Ukranian drone project, is one of the items on the list. 478 people have donated almost 30,000 US dollars to the project.

Donation websites, drone schools… the volunteer helpers are continually creating new structures. But they cannot escape the fact that volunteering also means being able to opt out at any time. The donations are therefore especially high when a large number of Ukranian soldiers have been killed. “No blood, no money“, that is the rule in this war, according to the volunteers.

Schendekow has previously worked for a company which films advertisements and wedding videos with cameras on drones and sent a couple of copters as a donation to the front. He then saw on Facebook that they were searching for people who are familiar with the electronics of miniature aircraft via the donation platform “People’s Project’“. With a couple of partners he founded his own company based on the idea of a “people’s drone“. They now work exclusively for the Ministry of Defence.

Why is there a need for volunteers to build military spy drones?

“Ukraine had no operational drones before the war“, says Schendekow. The Armed Forces were poorly equipped even though Ukraine produces modern military technology. “My impression is that this decline was politically intended“ says Schendekow. “The elite at that time wanted to facilitate a peaceful, though perhaps not friendly, takeover by Russia“.

Maria Berlinska gave a helicopter drone to the commander. She took a photo for her Facebook page Photograph: Olena Maksimenko

They see it differently in the military. Even before the war, the armed forces were in possession of drones, according to an email written by the Ministry of Defence in Kiev. They name two models, both of which are long, rocket-like monstrosities from the 70s and 80s, but the Ministry claims that they are still being used today.

War stories for lunch

Maria Berlinska must fly low so that the men can see what the camera is showing. The sun blinds. She has her thumb on the control console’s right-hand lever, her left thumb and index finger on the left-hand lever. The winds are strong, the drone wobbles. Berlinska stares at the screen. One of the soldiers, the reconnaissance officer, directs her “up to the road and then to the right“. She should fly back to a trench. A Ukranian unit has been fired at from there.

On a Sunday morning in July Maria Berlinska sits in short white trousers on a pile of charcoal and says, it is now going to the front. It will be hot again today, up to 40 degrees, the petrol station has put out its BBQ range. Beside Berlinska leans a wooden walking stick, she’s had an operation, multiple falls, at Independence Square in Kiev, in the war, a tumour had formed.

“You will do everything I say“, Berlinska says to her team. “Understand?“. Sitting in the Jeep behind her is Julia Tolopa, who, at 21 years old, wants to go the front to learn how to fly drones. She can already drive tanks. Tolopa comes from the North Caucasus, from Russia. She shows photos on her smartphone of the tattered remains of a Lada Niva, which she drove over a mine in, then she swipes through the photos. A smiling man with short hair in a red T-shirt: dead. A man with a hat and scarf: dead.

She survived, she smiles, then she crushes the smile with her lips once more. She speaks proudly, she speaks quietly, no for her it has not yet become the daring adventure which is easy to tell. They all tell stories of lucky escapes. This is the message, for others as well as for themselves.

Past fields of sun flowers and bus stops with “Slawa Ukrajini“ sprayed on them, the glory of Ukraine, 125 miles to the east, and there are ever more holes in the streets. The cars stop at a pub: For lunch there is a kefir soup with eggs, potatoes and dill, along with war stories.

Women in the front

Many volunteers have seen people die at Independence Square and in the war. “Heroes don’t die“ is tattooed on Julia Tolopa’s arm. Many volunteers do not allow themselves to pause, to mourn. They say that they will only be able to so when the country the dead fought for exists. But which country would that be?

Before the war there were female chefs and combat medics, but women couldn’t do many jobs. Because thousands of men have died in the fighting, women are being promoted.

Maria Berlinska is fighting for women to have equal rights in the military and for women to be paid the same as men. It is her other major project, she calls it “Invisible battalion“. Together with a sociologist she researched the position of women on the front and the study shows black and white photos of the women standing proudly in their uniforms.

A ride to the next base

Grenades and bullets have hit houses in Avdiivka Foto: Olena Maksimenko

On the way to Donetsk they can hear the tracks, which are left by the tanks, more and more in the Jeep. It sounds like a dentist’s drill when the car’s tyres meet the grooves.

They smoke a bit of hashish, hang their feet out the windows. During a break Maria Berlinska recites a poem by Schadan Serhij, one of the most famous Ukranian poets. “They bite gently into the skin, without noticing that it is mine“, Maria Berlinska quotes and bobs her ankles up and down along with it, “if she wakes up, it would be nice to know her name“.

It is not far, they just have to pass the checkpoints. They pull up to the barriers slowly and turn off the lights; they don’t want to blind the soldiers.

The base, in which they will sleep for the next days, is an old post office. An armoured, Soviet reconnaissance vehicle stands there on four massive wheels, next to it a pick-up-truck, the bonnets and windscreens of both are covered in bullet holes.

Plastic bottles lie all around, there’s a pile dirt in the hallway, protective vests, Kalashnikovs and sniper rifles hang on the walls of the rooms, along with antennas of wire mesh, which the soldiers use to try and improve the television reception. The windows are open, it is hot, 35 degrees, naked male torsos, sweat, there’s a musty smell of old blankets and the acidity of beef its own juices, lunch today was from cans.

“This is our regular army“, says Maria Berlinska, pointing her head backwards to the decade-old broken vehicles, to the rubbish, to the grey rubber hose, which must be a shower for everyone. She kneels on a bed and looks out of a window into the black, one pane of glass is still in one piece, the other is replaced by cardboard. Mortars and grenade launchers are fired outside. Sometimes it sounds like thunder, others like farts in the bath. It does not stop, you get used to it. “What a pointless war“, says Maria Berlinska.

Why pointless?

“If it were up to me there’d be no countries. People are important to me, not countries. But I don’t live in a world of dreams, I live now and in this situation and I have to deal with it“.

Are you afraid?

“Yes, of course I am“.

From the dream night to the daily war

Maria Berlinska gave a helicopter drone to the commander. She took a photo for her Facebook page Foto: Olena Maksimenko

The next morning, the journey from peace into war took three minutes. On one side of the train tracks lies the city, where men and women buy Coca-Cola and Lawash flat breads from street venders and go to work in the large coal factory every day. Daily life seeps into every crack opened by the war.

On the other side of the track, Maria Berlinska puts on a helmet and pulls on her protective vest. Speed is the best protection from sniper rifles, so they are racing along, turning quickly around concrete barricades, bushes on both sides of the road scrape and squeel over the Jeep’s dark green paint. A house, the second floor has been torn down, in the first there are sandbags and barricades made from road signs.

They were expecting Maria Berlinska, there is fish soup on plastic white plates. Then the shooting starts, first a Kalashnikov, then two, then so many, that even the soldiers can no longer say how many are fighting out there. Twenty people have been wounded here in the last month, the commander tells me, and three are dead. As the firing ceases, two men with protective-vests and Kalashnikovs run into the building, the commander shakes their hands. He says they were shot from a trench nearby. You can see the pale sand when you look out of the open, right-side of the base.

The first one is already shot down

Maria Berlinska needs to fly back to the trench once more. “There, there“. She manages to control her aircraft against the wind. “Very good“, says the reconnaissance officer. Then the screen goes black. Blue writing. Nemaje Syhnalu. No signal. The operator runs to the antenna, turns it, flips it over, holds it up. “What’s going on?“, asks the soldier. Maria Berlinska falls down to the ground, she had already clenched her teeth, now her jaw drops. All of the excitement has gone from her face. She sits down on one the stools where half an hour ago her drone still lay. She lights up a cigarette. She says nothing. The others still want to believe it was an electronic malfunction, she knows what went wrong. For the first time the separatists have shot down her drone.

A phone rings. Maria Berlinska takes her smartphone from her shirt pocket, pushes a button and throws it onto the grey crate. Voices can be heard, laughter, we are the best, one says in Russian. Maria Berlinska installed a microphone on the drone, it transmits the voices of the men who shot down her aircraft. Julia Tolopa jumps to the crate, takes a photograph with her smartphone of the drone’s last coordinates, two eight-digit numbers. The soldiers now have phones in their hands, they want artillery to be fired at the spot where the shots came from.

As Maria Berlinska’s heavy, grey crate is stowed in the Jeep, there are three claps of thunder, wumm, wumm, wumm.

Can you imagine a life after the war, Maria Berlinska?

“Of course. I want to travel, so far I’ve only been in four countries“. She lists them: Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, UK.

Four days later a news website for the Dontesk People’s Republic publishes a message: “Please take note of the pieces of a Ukranian 'Furie’ type drone shown here. It was shot down by our unit of gunmen in the Avdijivka industrial area on 18 July 2016“. Next to the text is a picture of Maria Berlinskas’ drone. The right wing is missing.

Collaboration: Christina Spitzmüller

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