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Russia Has Deployed Iranian ‘Suicide’ Drones in Ukraine

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Ukrainian officials are claiming the destruction of the first example of an Iran-supplied drone used by Russia in the war in Ukraine. The assertion is backed up by photos showing the apparent remains of what looks very much like an Iranian Shahed-136 loitering munition, or ‘suicide’ drone, reportedly found in eastern Ukraine. This appears to confirm that Iranian-made drones have not only been delivered to Russia but are now being employed in combat, including in strike missions.

According to a statement on the Armed Forces of Ukraine’s Strategic Communications Telegram channel, the drone in question is a “Shahed-136 long-range kamikaze UAV,” which is said to have been destroyed by Ukrainian air defenses near Kupyansk, in the eastern Kharkiv region.

“Analysis of the appearance of the elements of the drone’s wing allows us to confidently state that the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed an Iranian UAV for the first time,” the statement adds.

The Telegram post is accompanied by the same images of apparent drone wreckage that have also appeared on social media, including on the official channel for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense. The remains undoubtedly look very much like the Shahed-136 series. The vertical stabilizer from the end of one of the drone’s delta wings seen in some of the pictures is a particularly distinctive feature of the Shahed-136 and other related Iranian designs.

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