Russia launched fresh attacks with Iranian-made drones early Saturday over Ukraine, where the country’s southern command said it shot down 10 of the unmanned aerial systems, an indication that Moscow has replenished its supply of the drones as the two countries move toward what the U.S. has called a full defense partnership.
Ukraine’s southern command said it shot down four Shahed-136 drones in the Kherson region, four more in the Mykolaiv region and two in the Odessa region.
Maksym Marchenko, the governor of Odessa, said the drones had attacked energy infrastructure and civilian housing overnight.
“There is no electricity in nearly any of our region’s districts and communities of our region. Energy workers are already working on restoring the damaged infrastructure,” he said.
Russia purchased hundreds of Iranian Shahed and Mohajer series drones over the summer, which Moscow has used to attack Ukraine’s front-line positions and civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian air defenses, however, adapted quickly, shooting the entire batch down over a series of months.
The reappearance of the UAVs on the battlefield this week shows that Russia has resupplied its stocks as the West sees greater defense cooperation between Moscow and Tehran.
The Biden administration warned Friday that military ties between Russia and Iran were expanding into “a full-fledged defense partnership” and said the two nations were considering establishing a joint production line to provide lethal drones in Russia.
The U.S. said it believed Iran was considering selling hundreds of ballistic missiles to Russia, and described the military relationship between the two nations as moving beyond simply Iran supplying drones to Russia for use in the war in Ukraine. [Continue reading…]