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Russia’s Iranian-made drones unlikely to affect course of war significantly – ISW

Wreckage of the Iranian drone Shahed-136 reportedly found near Kupiansk, Kharkiv Oblast, in early September. Source.
Russia’s Iranian-made drones unlikely to affect course of war significantly – ISW

In its latest Russian offensive campaign assessment, the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War suggests that the drones supplied to Russia by Iran wouldn’t have a significant impact on the course of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia’s use of Iranian-made drones is not generating asymmetric effects the way the Ukrainian use of US-provided HIMARS systems has done and is unlikely to affect the course of the war significantly,” ISW says referring to the recent stats of Russia’s use of the drones in Ukraine.

The deputy chief of the Main Operational Department of Ukraine’s General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, stated on October 6 that Russia has used a total of 86 Iranian Shahed-136 drones against Ukraine, 60% of which Ukrainian forces have already destroyed.

Moreover, ISW reported on 5 October that Russian forces do not appear to be focusing these drones on asymmetric nodes near the battlefield.

“They have used many drones against civilian targets in rear areas, likely hoping to generate nonlinear effects through terror. Such efforts are not succeeding,” ISW wrote.

According to Ukrainian Air Force Command Spokesperson Yuri Ihnat, the Russian troops are increasingly using the Iranian-made drones to conserve its stock of high-precision missiles.

“Russian forces have likely used a non-trivial percentage of the Shahed-136 supply so far if the claims of an anonymous US intelligence official at the end of August were correct that Iran would likely provide ‘hundreds’ of drones to Russia,” ISW wrote.

The Russian army uses Iranian-made kamikaze drones several times a day targeting various Ukrainian cities far behind the front lines. So far, the most recent attack was on the central-Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia:

Russia attacks central-Ukrainian Zaporizhzhia using Iranian drones, injures one – oblast head

 

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