According to the British newspaper The Guardian, in November 2022 Iran secretly supplied Russia with at least 18 advanced long-range Mohajer-6 combat drones-bombers, which are capable of carrying four air-to-ground missiles and have a range of about 200 km. The publication emphasises that they are not kamikaze drones, like those previously used by Russia. The new 18 drones are designed to drop bombs and return to base. According to the specifications, the Mohajer-6 is a multi-role strike UAV designed for reconnaissance, surveillance, and firepower.The cost of the Mohajer-6 is not disclosed, but based on the class and characteristics of the drone, it can be in the range of 1.5 to 4 million dollars. Russian representatives who visited Iran also agreed to supply Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 drones.
Iranian drones appeared in Russia's arsenal in the summer of 2022, and in the autumn, the Russians began using them first at the front and then to strike at Ukraine's civilian infrastructure. Russia's recent tactics combine missile and drone launches to locate positions and deplete Ukrainian air defense.
Earlier, it was also reported that Russia and Iran are implementing plans to build a new plant in Russia that could produce at least 6,000 drones. Thus, according to the Wall Street Journal, a high-ranking Iranian delegation flew to Russia in early January 2023 to visit the planned site for the construction of the plant and agree on the details of the joint project. It is known that the site was inspected in the city of Elabuga, located in the Republic of Tatarstan, where the construction of the plant is apparently planned, which will be able to produce thousands of drones in the near future.
Iran has been under international sanctions for several decades, which have deprived it of access to leading foreign technologies. However, this did not prevent Tehran from becoming a well-known manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles. Since Iran did not have access to high-tech weapons due to sanctions, Iranian specialists resorted to copying foreign models. The first mention of the use of Iranian drones in combat began in the mid-1990s in Afghanistan. Subsequently, Iran began sharing UAVs with its allies in the Shiite radical movement Hezbollah, which actively uses them in attacks on Israel. In 2019, a whole line of new models of drones entered service with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
In November 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Russia had already fired more than 4,700 missiles against Ukraine, which means that hundreds of Ukrainian cities have been destroyed, thousands of Ukrainians have been killed, and millions have been forced to leave Ukraine for other countries to escape the war. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian terrorists have been deliberately destroying civilian objects, infrastructure and population. More than 35,000 buildings have been destroyed in Ukraine, mostly private and apartment buildings of civilians. Only 3% of the recorded shelling was against military targets. Since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, 702 critical infrastructure facilities have been damaged.These include transportation, energy and other facilities, such as airfields, bridges, fuel depots, power substations.
As of the beginning of 2023, the damage caused to Ukraine as a result of the war exceeds $700 billion, and the need for recovery has increased due to Russian attacks on infrastructure.The contraction of the Ukrainian economy in the previous year is likely to have increased to 50% due to Russia's continued energy terror.
With the help of Iranian drones, the terrorist state of Russia will continue to strike Ukraine's critical infrastructure, so Western air defence systems are the key to saving the lives of thousands of Ukrainians.
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