Russia-Ukraine updates: Putin wins drones from Iran; U.S. weapons hit their target
Iran will supply Russia with hundreds of drones, while Ukrainian forces prepare for a summer counteroffensive
Moscow is looking abroad to source more weaponry, as Russia’s political isolation has made it difficult to procure parts and systems. Meanwhile, new shipments of weapons systems from Western allies are now in play, though Ukrainians are still outgunned.
Driving the news: The supply of weapons is a critical element to the defense of Ukraine and will play a large role in a possible counteroffensive this summer.
- Iran will be providing Russia with hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), some with laser-guided missile capabilities. “Surveillance UAVs play a crucial role in the targeting of enemy forces by artillery,” and weaponized drones are capable of destroying armored vehicles, per The Washington Post.
- The U.S. provided M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars), arriving at the end of June, which are “far more accurate than Russia’s equivalent systems” and can target important military sites in Russian-held territory, according to the BBC. Sunday, a Himar allegedly destroyed a Russian ammo depot.
- The Pentagon announced it will be sending “two NASAMS surface-to-air missile systems, four additional counterartillery radars and up to 150,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition.”
- “Ukraine’s heavy artillery is outnumbered roughly eight to one by Russian guns,” a spokesman for Ukraine’s International Legion has said.
What to watch: The Russian gas company Gazprom is shutting off the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for previously scheduled maintenance. The work will take 10 days, but some fear it might stay offline. Last month Gazprom cut the flow by 60%.
- According to The New York Times “many families in the European Union may have to choose between heating and eating,” if gas is shut off.
As Ukraine plans for a counteroffensive into Russian-occupied territory, they are warning residents to “evacuate quickly so the occupying forces could not use them as human shields,” per The Washington Post.