Iran-linked drones downed as Russia steps up airstrikes: Ukraine

A damaged drone is pictured on the streets of Sanaa, Yemen, after being shot down May 23, 2022. Ukraine’s military said on Thursday it had destroyed several Iranian-made “suicide bomber” drones.
Mohamed Hamoud/Getty Images

Ukraine claims to have destroyed several Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones that Russia used in an effort to intensify air attacks.

The Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Facebook that four Iranian ‘Shahed-136’ drones were “shot down at the same time” in the Mykolaiv region by medium-range anti-aircraft missiles on Thursday . Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command (OCS) said at least five of Iran’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which had been used in Russian attacks that caused damage but no human casualties on Thursday, had been destroyed in the region.

“The enemy is continuing aerial reconnaissance using drones and also activating air attacks using Iranian Shahed-136 type kamikaze drones,” the SCO said in a Facebook post. “This is how the port infrastructure of Ochakov was hit again. One of the two attacking drones was shot down by our units, the other hit a port tug. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire . There is no victim.”

“Another kamikaze drone ‘Shahed-136’ attacked Kryvyi Rih,” the message continued. “After hitting a two-story non-residential building, a fire broke out, which was quickly extinguished. There were no casualties.”

Ukraine said a Russian reconnaissance drone was also destroyed in Mykolaiv. Several howitzers, tanks and armored vehicles were also reportedly destroyed, while Ukraine claimed to have killed at least 27 Russian soldiers. Newsweek has not independently verified any of Ukraine’s claims.

In addition to drone attacks, Thursday’s Russian offensives reportedly included a significant number of rocket and artillery attacks. Russia reportedly “terrorized” the Nikopol district with rocket attacks, killing a Ukrainian civilian and destroying schools, a museum and residential buildings.

The SCO has warned Ukrainian residents to avoid “panic” while urging them to heed government warnings and remain alert to potential new air attacks, including further strikes from suicide bombers.

“Don’t panic, but keep an eye on the situation,” OCS said. “The enemy can activate missile terror, increase shelling, and will continue to launch suicide drones. Do not ignore messages about air danger, monitor the situation and actions of suspicious people, notify the relevant authorities.”

Ukraine also reported the downing of a Shahed-136 drone near the frontlines of the war in the Kharkiv region this month. Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Russia was forced to use weapons from countries like Iran and North Korea because of dwindling supplies of its own.

The Iranian-made drones are considered technologically superior to the Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones used by the Ukrainian military, having the ability to fly nearly 1,100 miles farther while carrying payloads weighing 500 pounds more.

Iran has previously denied sending the Shahed-136 drones or any other weapons to Russia. However, the country’s Revolutionary Guard leader later bragged about arming the world’s biggest powers, according to the Associated Press.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told a press conference on August 30 that Iran had sent Shahed-136 and Mohajer-6 drones to Russia, the drones having been transferred to Russia “over several days in August”.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian government for comment.


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