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Ukraine war: Recent aerial attacks suggest Iran resupplied Russia with drones, reveals UK intelligence

Ukraine recently shot down 17 UAVs including 14 Iranian Shahed-136s

iran drone Representational image | Reuters

UK's defence intelligence reported on Friday that recent aerial attacks by Russia on Ukraine suggest that Iran has resupplied Russia with uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The defence intelligence reported that for the first time in three weeks, there are reports of attacks using Iranian-provided one-way attack (OWA) uncrewed aerial vehicles. “It is likely that Russia exhausted its previous stock of several hundred Shahed-131s and 136s and has now received a resupply,” the intelligence report said.

On December 6, the Ukrainian General Staff reported shooting down 17 UAVs, including 14 Shahed-136s. On December 7, Ukrainian officials reported the use of Iranian-provided OWA UAVs targeting Zaporizhzhia and Dnipro oblasts,” the intelligence report said. It added, “The last previously reported shooting down of Iranian Shahed-136s in Ukraine was on November 17. If verified, it is likely that Russia has recommenced attacks with newly delivered OWA UAV systems.”

Russia has reportedly installed rocket launchers at the  Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest such facility in Europe. Russia's recent move has raised fears among observers that Russia could use the power plant to fire on Ukrainian targets, heightening radiation dangers.

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