Quit smoking, but patriotically

Students in Samara collect e-cigarettes to cannibalise their parts for use in drones

Photo: Volunteers in uniform/ VK

Photo: Volunteers in uniform/ VK

Students at Samara University in Russia’s Volga region are collecting used e-cigarettes to help Russia’s war effort in Ukraine, according to Volunteers in Uniform, a patriotic student group that forms part of the university’s Falcon military club.

According to a flyer printed by Volunteers in Uniform, who said the decision to collect e-cigarettes was made after “people involved in the special military operation” approached the group, an e-cigarette’s battery and microchip can be repurposed for use in drones.

The flyer, based on a well-known Soviet anti-drinking poster, replaces the glass of vodka in the original with an e-cigarette and bears the legend “1 e-cigarette = 1 drone attack on the enemy!” and were distributed all over the university campus.

“The e-cigarette collection is ongoing. Get involved. The front needs our help!!! Collect and hand in used e-cigarettes,” the flyer said.

“You may not smoke, but you have friends who do — take their e-cigarettes off them! Smoking harms their health, but can be invaluable in the fight against Western technology,” the flyer said.

Most students said they hadn’t seen boxes or that they hadn’t known what they were for. “I didn’t see any boxes this week,” said one student. “There are boxes on campuses for used e-cigarettes,” another student commented. “But nobody told us why.”

Photo: Volunteers in uniform/ VK

Photo: Volunteers in uniform/ VK

What is the Falcon Club?

The Falcon patriotic military club was founded by the Samara University Military Department in 2008. The club memorandum lists its purpose as providing students with a patriotic education. The club then became a patriotic military association, and Volunteers in Uniform joined.

Falcon’s social networks say their main activity in recent years has been teaching courage to local schoolchildren and collecting humanitarian aid for the military. In addition to e-cigarettes, members of the group have also been collecting faulty phones, camping stoves, clothing and food.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.