Russia used 17 Iranian drones in massive bombing of Ukraine

An officer investigates the parts of an Iranian drone in Kharkiv (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

Russia used 83 missiles and 17 Iranian-made drones in the bombings carried out this Monday against several Ukrainian cities, according to a report by the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Hanna Maliar.

According to a spokesman for the Ukrainian air force, quoted by the daily Kyviv Independent43 of the launched missiles were shot down by the Ukrainian defenses.

Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister also confirmed the use by Russian forces of 17 Shahed-type drones, made by Iranlaunched from Belarus and Crimea.

the drones
The Shahed-136 “suicide” drones (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

The Russian use of Iranian drones in Ukraine demonstrates two things: Tehran’s growing involvement in this sector and certain shortcomings of the Russian drone industry. Iran has delivered hundreds of drones to Russia by the middle of this year, according to the White House, and these have already begun to be deployed to the front lines.

“The Shahed 136 is a suicide drone fairly large and inexpensive to manufacture. It hits its target by GPS coordinates entered before takeoff. It then advances autonomously, flying quite low and reaching a target set hundreds of kilometers away,” said Pierre Grasser, a French researcher associated with the Sirice Center in Paris.

The Shaded 136 drone (“witness” in Persian) is a remote-controlled and unmanned aerial device, developed by the HESA company and which entered service in 2021. With an action range of 2,500 kilometers, they are used exclusively for selective attacks and the explosives they can carry detonate on impact with their target.

“Its use is a cost-saving measure for Russia because it saves valuable cruise missiles, which cost $1.5 million to $2 million,” Grasser said. Part of their success is that they are a new weapon and the Ukrainians are just beginning to capture them to develop anti-drone systems.

Ukrainian forces analyze Iranian drones to develop an adequate defensive response to these devices (Reuters)
Ukrainian forces analyze Iranian drones to develop an adequate defensive response to these devices (Reuters) (STRINGER /)

But their “main flaw is that they can only hit fixed targets,” he said. “It is not a threat to deployed troops, so this drone deployment should not change the course of a battle.”

Why does Russia, one of the world’s largest arms manufacturers, have to buy from Iran? “The Ministry of Defense developed the appropriate tactical and technical requirements for drones, and most (Russian) manufacturers are unfortunately not able to meet them”, declared Russian Colonel Igor Ishchuk on Tuesday, quoted by the news agency. TASS.

Pierre Grasser cited a weakness in the Russian industrial structure. “The STC, which manufactures the Orlan (reconnaissance) drones, announced that it would move to three eight-hour shifts to operate 24 hours a day. They couldn’t make the equipment. Like on the front line Russia’s problem is human resources”, he explained.

Beyond this difficulty, Russia did not have long-range suicide drones like the Shahed 136 in its arsenal, but rather reduced-range models (40 km maximum),” he added.

Large-scale Russian bombardments launched on Monday against Ukrainian cities have caused an as yet undetermined number of deaths, while the population seeks protection in shelters. In kyiv, according to the authorities, at least 10 people were killed.

The launch this Monday of the missiles against kyiv, Lviv, Pryluky, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipro, Nizhyn, Zhytomyr and Kharkiv were made from the Caspian Sea and Nizhni Novgorod regionsa city located in western Russia, according to information provided by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and cited by the country’s media.

Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky noted in a message to the Ukrainian people that the massive attacks in various regions of Ukraine are aimed at damaging energy infrastructure and causing casualties among the civilian population. “The morning is hard. We are dealing with terrorists. Dozens of missiles, Iranian ‘Shaheds’. They have two goalsZelensky said.

The first, he indicated, is the power facilities throughout the country. The second target, she added, “is the people,” stressing that “a time like this and targets like this have been specially chosen to cause the greatest possible damage.”

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin today threatened kyiv with more “firm” responses, such as the missile attacks on Monday “in case attempts to carry out terrorist attacks on our territory continue.”

The resurgence of these bombings takes place after the explosion that on Saturday caused damage to the Crimean bridge, a setback for Moscow’s fragile war logistics, which transported heavy military equipment and supplies to the troops in the south through this infrastructure. of Ukraine, an action that he described as a terrorist act by kyiv.

(With information from EFE and AFP)


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