Russia acquires first batch of Iranian-made combat drones to deploy in Ukraine: report
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Russia has reportedly collected its first batch of Iranian-made combat drones that it intends to use on the battlefield during its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. officials say Russian cargo planes left Iran on Aug. 19 with at least two types of combat-capable drones, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The Mohajer-6 and Shahed series drones are believed to be the first of many shipments from Iran to Russia as part of the Kremlin’s plan to boost its attack drone capability in the war with Ukraine.
The agreement between the two nations was negotiated over several months and included Iranian technical experts traveling to Russia to help set up systems, as well as Russian military officers traveling to Iran for training.
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While the drones could give Russia a boost on the battlefield, U.S. officials said Iranian drones have been the source of headaches and technical problems for the Russians.
“There are some bugs in the system,” an unnamed official told the Washington Post. “The Russians are not satisfied.”
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The Washington Post reported that Russia has between 1,500 and 2,000 military surveillance drones as part of its campaign in Ukraine, but does not have many combat-capable drones. On the other hand, Ukraine has deployed Turkish-made combat drones that have been effective against Russian targets.
On Tuesday, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov he fired the Washington Post report as “false”.
Rebekah Koffler, a former Russia-focused U.S. DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that it is unclear why the Kremlin denies the ‘report, but what is clear is that Peskov “cannot be trusted”.
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“It is possible that Putin’s control of what Peskov says in terms of denying drone deliveries from Iran to Russia is to confuse Ukrainian and Western intelligence in order to achieve some operational secrecy and tactical surprise for Russian forces,” Koffler said. “Ukraine will likely target these drones for destruction, raising threat concerns for the Russians, especially in light of recent mysterious attacks on ammunition depots and other targets in Crimea.”