The Ukrainian army on Tuesday claimed it shot down an Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone allegedly used by Russian forces near Kupiansk in the northeastern region of Kharkov, which was recently recaptured by Ukraine during the ongoing military operation. of Moscow in the country . It is the first time Kiev claims to have shot down an Iranian drone.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry released several images of what it said were the remains of a triangular drone that bore a striking resemblance to Iran’s Shahed drones. Reuters reported that parts of the destroyed drone had “Geran-2” written in Russian on the side, while the wing tip resembled that of the Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
#Ukraine: The first credible sighting of Iranian drones used by Russian forces shows the remains of a HESA Shahed-136 hanging munition (or a design based on it), made in Iran. Judging by its appearance, it looks like it exploded.
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) September 13, 2022
The British Ministry of Defense supported Ukraine’s claims. In a military intelligence update yesterday, the ministry said it was “highly likely” that Russia had deployed the UAV.
“Russia is almost certainly getting more and more weapons from other heavily sanctioned states like Iran and North Korea as its own supplies dwindle,” it said.
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Tehran has not yet responded to Kiev’s claims and Iran’s UN mission has also not responded to requests for comment. The Iranian government has previously denied accusations by Ukraine and the US that it supplied Russia with armed drones to use as reconnaissance or “hanging munitions”.
Washington first claimed in July that Iran was planning to supply “hundreds” of drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. This was quickly denied by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a phone call to his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
In August, a US-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, quoted Ukrainian president’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych as saying Iran had handed over 46 drones to Russia. In the same month, Yuliya Leonidivna Klymenko, a Ukrainian MP, told Iran International that Moscow bought 100 additional drones from Iran in addition to those it had already bought from the Islamic Republic.
On Tuesday, Hebrew media reported that an Israeli company had supplied Ukraine with anti-drone systems and that the equipment was being sold through Poland to circumvent Tel Aviv’s refusal to sell advanced weapons to Ukraine, in a move that would damage relations with Russia. .
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