Russia launched a series of “kamikaze” drone attacks on Ukraine on Monday, which utilized a supply of Iranian drones that were received back in August. So far, Russian forces have launched at least 78 drones, 36 of which were shot down by Ukraine, according to NBC News.
Iran supplied Russia with drones earlier this year. Iran has denied supplying the drones, but U.S. officials state that Iran did give Russia the first shipment of drones in August, The New York Times reports.
Why does Russia need Iranian drones?
Iran’s drones have several capabilities. They are able to take out targets and be programmed without human intervention, per the Economic Times. The drones are small but precise, but overall these drones are cheap.
PBS reports the Iranian drones are difficult to stop, they can hit targets while frightening civilians and most of all they are able to be put into combat in larger numbers. These drones are able to aid Russias’s agenda at an affordable price.
The drones also stir the pot in combat, adding another element Ukraine forces are not accustomed to. According to The New York Times, the drones are a new risk because Ukraine is more used to artillery strikes from Russia.
How many drones does Russia have?
Will Iran supply Russia with more drones?
Iran is sending Russia deliveries of aerial vehicles and a large number of “kamikaze” drones or Shahed-136s. The Washington Post reported Iran is also preparing to ship short range ballistic missiles to Russia.
The U.S. plans to penalize Iran for helping Russia in the war against Ukraine. U.S. officials said that they will be imposing sanctions on anybody helping Iran or Russia, according to Politico.