Russia using Iranian drones to effect. They work in pairs.

An Iranian Shahed drone displayed in 2021

An Iranian Shahed drone displayed in 2021

Iranian Drones Used By Russia Doing Damage To Ukraine Army – WSJ


Iranian suicide drones supplied to Russia are inflicting losses on Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv region, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

Ukrainian military officers told the Journal that the drones, thought to be Shahed-136 UAVs operate in pairs, one targeting nearby radar as the second one locks on its target and slams into it. The drones have also hit several Ukrainian armored vehicles and artillery batteries.

The United States warned in July that Russia was planning to acquire military drones from Iran, which has made significant progress in developing UAVs to compensate for its lack of an effective air force.

The Biden Administration has been negotiating with Iran since April 2021 to achieve to revive a nuclear deal that restricted Tehran’s uranium enrichment program. In exchange for lifting economic sanctions. The negotiations are currently stalled as Washington says Iran has made unacceptable demands.

Opponents of the deal argue that the US should not lift the sanctions and instead should intensify pressure as Iran’s economy faces serious challenges after four years US restrictions on its oil exports and international banking.

Iran is a close ally of Russia and the two countries closely collaborated in the Syrian war, where Moscow supplied air power and Tehran deployed thousands of militias against rebel forces.

Col. Rodion Kulagin of the Ukrainian army told the WSJ that “he hoped the U.S. and allies could provide Ukraine with more advanced antidrone technologies, or would step in to disrupt Iranian drone shipments to Russia.”


Russia’s ‘Iranian’ Suicide Drones Are Inflicting Heavy Losses On Ukrainian Forces – Report

Shahed-136 suicide drone taking off during Iranian drone drills. Source: the internet.

The Russian military’s newly-acquired suicide drones are inflicting heavy losses on Ukrainian forces, The Wall Street Journal reported on September 17.

The report claimed that the Russian military is using Iranian-made Shahed-136 suicide drone, repainted in Russian colors and rebranded as Geranium-2, to target Ukrainian armor and artillery positions in the Kharkiv region.

Colonel Rodion Kulagin, commander of artillery of Ukraine’s 92nd Mechanized Brigade, told the New York-based journal that his forces lost two 152 mm self-propelled howitzers, two 122 mm self-propelled howitzers and two BTR armored personnel carriers over the past week as a result of attacks by Russian suicide drones.

The commander went on to reveal that last month the Russian military destroyed a US-supplied M777 155 mm towed howitzer with a suicide drone during an apparent test.

Russian suicide drones fly at a very low altitude which makes extremely hard to detect and shot down, according to Col. Kulagin, who plead for help from the United State.

While The Wall Street Journal said that the suicide drones were Iranian-made Shahed-136, they may be a “Russified” version of the drone. Russia may be manufacturing or assembling Shahed-136 drones locally under some agreement with Iran.

The wreckage of a suspected Russian-made version of the Shahed-136 drone was showcased by Ukrainian forces earlier this week.

Russia’s ‘Iranian’ Suicide Drones Are Inflicting Heavy Losses On Ukrainian Forces – Report

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The Shahed-136 has a range of more than 2,500 kilometers and can be armed with a warhead weighting around 50 kilograms. The drone is guided by a satellite-aided inertial navigation system. According to The Wall Street Journal report, the drone has high resistance to jamming.

Last month, US and other Western intelligence officials claimed that Iran had transferred at least 300 UAVs to Russia. However, according to the officials, these were Shahed-129, Shahed-191 and Mohajer-6 combat drones. None of these types have been spotted in service with the Russian military, so far.

The Russian military has been using suicide drones, like the locally-made KUB-BLA and Lancet, to a great effect since the start of the special operation in Ukraine. The introduction of longer-range suicide drones similar to the Shahed-136 will only make the situation worse for Ukrainian forces.