The war on European soil: Russia caused serious damage to the Ukrainian forces with the use of Iranian drones, so commanders in the Kyiv army claimed. This is the first wide deployment of a foreign weapon system since the beginning of the hostilities, after Moscow began using weapons transferred to it from Tehran last week.
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As mentioned, during the last week, Shahed-136 drones, repainted in Russian colors and rebranded as Geranium 2, began to appear over Ukrainian armor and artillery positions in the northeastern Kharkiv region, said Colonel Rodion Kolagin, commander of the artillery of Ukraine’s 92nd Brigade. In an interview with the “Wall Street Journal”.
According to him, only in the operational area of his brigade did the Iranian drones – which usually fly in pairs and then collide with their targets – destroy two self-propelled howitzers with a diameter of 152 mm, two self-propelled howitzers with a diameter of 122 mm, as well as two armored vehicles.
So far, the Iranian drones appear to have been deployed mainly in the Kharkiv region, where the 92nd Brigade and other Ukrainian forces launched a major offensive this month, retaking about 8,500 square kilometers of captured territory. “In other areas, the Russians have tremendous artillery firepower, and they get by with it. Here, they don’t have that artillery advantage anymore, so they started using these drones,” Col. Kolagin said.
Scott Karino, founder and CEO of Red Six Solutions LLC, a strategic consulting firm, said in an interview that “the presence of the Shahed-136 in the war in Ukraine undoubtedly changes Kyiv’s operational plans,” and claimed that the sheer size of the battlefield makes it difficult to defend against the missile. Tim the Iranians.
Russia’s use of Iranian drones in Ukraine represents the most challenging expansion of Tehran’s arsenal beyond the Middle East, where Iran has successfully used its unmanned aerial vehicles to pressure America and its allies in the region. It also highlights the shortcomings of Russia’s own drone program , which failed to match the firepower of armed drones deployed by Ukraine.