Ukrainian officers admit that Russia has caused them serious trouble with Iranian “suicide drones” in the past week.
It is the Wall Street Journal that writes this on Sunday.
Already at the beginning of the week, Ukraine claimed to have shot down an Iranian-made drone. Now they admit that the so-called “suicide drones” have been used against Ukrainian positions in the Kharkiv region.
It is about the Iranian Shahed-136 drone, which has been repainted by the Russians and renamed Geranium-2, writes the Wall Street Journal.
The news from the American newspaper has been frequently quoted in the Russian media since it came out, but has not been commented on by the Russian authorities.
US intelligence already warned in July that Tehran was planning to send hundreds of drones, which may carry bombs, to Russia to help them in the “special operation” in Ukraine.
Iran has denied that it supplies Russia with such drones, and Iran’s UN ambassador has not commented on the matter, but the Revolutionary Guards have boasted that they sell such weapons to the world’s major powers.
The drone is of the Shahed type, which has previously supported Houthi fighters in Yemen, attacked oil depots in Saudi Arabia and flew over an American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
On 19 July, Vladimir Putin was on one of his first trips abroad since the corona. It went to Iran’s capital Tehran, where he met Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The aim was to strengthen one of the foreign alliances the Moscow regime still has.
Ukrainian Colonel Rodion Kulagin, chief of artillery in Ukraine’s 92nd Mechanized Brigade, lists that in the past week the Iranian drones have destroyed two 152 mm self-propelled artillery vehicles, two 122 mm self-propelled artillery vehicles, as well as armored vehicles.
It should therefore have mainly been used in the Kharkiv region, where Ukraine has recently recaptured thousands of square kilometres.
– In other areas, the Russians have overwhelming artillery power, and they manage with it. Here they no longer have that artillery advantage, and therefore they have started to resort to these drones, says Colonel Kulagin to the Wall Street Journal.
Locks onto the target
The Washington Post already wrote on 30 August that Iran had sent drones to Russia – with a view to use in Ukraine. The newspaper wrote that Russia is well equipped with surveillance drones, but that they have few drones that can be used as offensive weapons.
An expert tells the Wall Street Journal that these drones can change a lot:
– Ukraine’s large battlefield makes it difficult to defend against the Shahed-136, says Scott Crino of the consulting company Red Six Solutions LLC.
– When a Shahed locks onto the target, it will be difficult to stop, he says – referring to the fact that the Iranians have also developed an effective anti-jamming system.
Various media have suggested a range of 2,000-2,500 kilometers for this drone.
It was only in January 2021 that the drones were observed outside Iran – then by the American magazine Newsweek, which could reveal that it had been used in the warfare in Yemen.