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UK intel: Iran’s drone tech powers Russia’s warfare in Ukraine as Russo-Iranian ties deepen

As Russia faces global isolation post-Ukraine invasion, it turns to Iran for military and economic support. Iranian drones emerge as a strategic component in Russia’s long-range strikes into Ukraine, as per British intelligence.
UK intel: Iran’s drone tech powers Russia’s warfare in Ukraine as Russo-Iranian ties deepen

Facing global pushback after Ukraine’s invasion, Russia deepens its relationship with Iran, significantly employing Iranian drones in Ukraine and fostering economic bonds, according to the British Defense Ministry’s 9 October intelligence update.

The ministry tweeted:

  • Russia’s partnership with Iran has strengthened in recent years, almost certainly accelerated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. International isolation has forced Russia to redirect its foreign policy efforts towards previously less-desirable partnerships to gain diplomatic, economic and military support.
  • Iranian military aid to Russia’s campaign in Ukraine has included hundreds of one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAV) and artillery munitions. Iranian OWA UAVs have been a core element of Russia’s campaign of long-range strikes into Ukraine. This arrangement has now been extended to include assembling and production of these UAVs, under licence, in a facility in Russia.
  • Russo-Iranian diplomatic and economic ties have also intensified. Russia’s engagement with Iran through multinational forums will almost certainly increase following Iran’s recent admission into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and its invitation to join the economic BRICS forum. Iran recently claimed that Russia had invested USD $2.76bn into Iran in 2022-23. Economic ties are highly likely to deepen as Russia seeks to mitigate sanctions.

Russia has been widely using the Iranian-made Shahed-series one-way attack drones to carry out strikes deep inside Ukraine, primarily targeting river ports, grain facilities, and other civilian infrastructure.

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