Moscow comments on alleged military use of Iranian drones
All weapons used by Russian troops are from domestic stockpiles, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said, reiterating a denial of reports that Moscow has been using Iranian-supplied drones against Ukraine.
“No, we have no such information. Russian hardware is being used. You know it well. All further questions can be addressed to the Defense Ministry,” Peskov said on Tuesday.
American and Ukrainian officials have claimed on many occasions that Russia received various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from Iran and was using them in the conflict with Ukraine.
On Monday, multiple drones were spotted flying over the Ukrainian capital Kiev, with troops desperately trying to shoot them down with small arms, according to videos from the scene.
At least one “kamikaze drone” was reportedly hit and crashed into an apartment block, setting off a deadly explosion. A soldier interviewed by Ukrainian television claimed that he was among those who managed to divert the aircraft off its course with gunfire, adding that he later helped rescue people from under the rubble at the crash site.
The mayor of Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko, said that Russia attacked the city with 28 drones on Monday morning and that the Ukrainian military managed to intercept “most” of them. He reported a total of five explosions, including the one at the residential building. Other drones apparently reached their intended targets, including energy infrastructure facilities.
The drones, designated Geran-2 in Russia, are allegedly a localized version of the Iranian-made Shahed-136. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed last week that Russia had acquired as many as 2,400 Shahed UAVs, as he asked G7 members to provide more air defense systems.
Last month Ukraine cut diplomatic ties with Iran over the alleged supply of weapons to Russia. Neither Moscow nor Tehran confirmed the purported purchase.
Kiev reportedly urged Israel to ramp up intelligence-sharing in response to Moscow’s alleged deal with Iran. Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai said last Sunday that he supported taking Kiev’s side because of the claimed Iranian involvement.