Ukrainian forces have been destroying Iranian drones that Russia has deployed across the country, which are terrorising civilians, even as it becomes clear that Russia’s supply of high-precision missiles has dwindled.
Kyiv on Monday (October 10) accused Moscow of using Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) sent from neighbouring Belarus as part of multiple deadly strikes Russian forces launched across Ukraine.
“The enemy used Iranian Shahed-136 UAVs in strikes launched from the territory of Belarus” and the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia, the Ukrainian military said in a statement, adding that nine Iranian drones were “destroyed”.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure during Monday’s strikes across the country, including strikes carried out by Iranian-made UAVs, commonly known as drones.
Russia has been using Iranian-supplied drones to attack Ukrainian cities for several weeks, in a collaboration that analysts regard as further cementing the isolation both states face in the international arena.
Iran’s plans to supply combat drones to Russia for use in Ukraine first came to light in July, following reports that the Russian military was facing challenges sustaining its weaponry after significant losses.
According to media reports, Iran has delivered hundreds of its drones to Russia despite warnings from Washington.
Ukraine took steps to reduce Iran’s diplomatic presence in retaliation to Tehran’s deliveries of drones to Moscow.
It removed the accreditation of the Iranian ambassador and said it is “significantly reducing” the Iranian embassy’s diplomatic staff.
On October 6, Ukrainian military spokesman Oleksiy Hromov said Ukraine had destroyed 60% of the 86 Shahed-136 drones Russia has used as part of its military campaign, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The Ukrainian military previously said it was seeing increasing use of drones by Russia as Moscow’s supply of high-precision missiles dwindles.
According to a Ukrainian artillery commander, it said, “Shahed-136 delta-wing drones, repainted in Russian colours and rebranded as Geranium 2”, began appearing in September over Ukrainian armour and artillery positions.