Russians deploy Iranian drones to battlefield, says Ukrainian government official

Russia is now using drones bought from Iran in Ukraine as the war nears its sixth month, according to an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s office, said on Friday that Iran had provided Russia with 46 drones, although it was unclear whether that was the total number of drones Iran agreed to supply. provide or if more are on the way, according to the Institute for the latest Study of War update.

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Some of the drones are older generation “Shahed 129” heavy strike drones, although it is unclear how much of the total is in this version.

Lt. Col. Garron Garn, a Department of Defense spokesman, declined to say whether the United States had intelligence to support Arestovych’s claim, telling the Washington Examiner“We are monitoring the situation closely but will not comment on the operational details of intelligence assessments.”

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan first briefed reporters on declassified US intelligence that pointed to a possible sale of drones between Iran and Russia on July 11. At the time, he said Iran was ready to provide them with “several hundred drones”. [unmanned aerial vehicles]including weapon-capable drones in an accelerated timeframe.

Sullivan also noted that Iran plans to train Russian forces to use the drones, although he was unable to say if this has started. He said initial training was to “begin as early as early July”, although the administration has not said since then whether it has started.

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A senior military official and a senior defense official declined to share with reporters any additional updates on the flow of intelligence during the department’s last briefing with reporters on July 29.

Administration and defense officials have repeatedly hinted that Russian President Vladimir Putin, who visited Iran last month, must be desperate if he turns to Iran as a lifeline. .

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