Since last October, Russia has been actively terrorising Ukrainian populated areas by striking critical infrastructure and residential buildings with Iran's Shahed-136 kamikaze drones.
On 22 March during the daytime, Russia struck a residential house in Zaporizhzhya with two missiles - 18 civilians were injured as a result of the Russian crime, including 2 children. Of the 11 hospitalised, 4 are in serious condition.
On the night of 22 March, the Russian Federation once again launched an Iranian drone strike against Ukraine. The Russian forces fired 21 drones. The attack destroyed the fourth and fifth floors of two five-storey dormitories and a three-storey educational building of a vocational school in the town of Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv Region. At least four civilians were killed and more than 20 people were hospitalized.
Also on that day, the Russians launched an attack on Odessa with X-59 type missiles from Su-35 fighter jets. This is the first targeted strike against this city in a long time. Prior to that, the last time the Russians launched a massive Iranian drone strike against Odessa was on 23 September 2022.
Russia is not abandoning its permanent plans to kill Ukrainian civilians. To that end, Moscow has reached agreements with Tehran to develop Iranian Shahed-136 drones in Russia's Togliatti. It is expected that their production may start this spring. It is likely that Iran has already given Russia its blueprints and components for the manufacture of more than 1,000 drones, which could be used against Ukrainian civilians this year. Iranian drones are inexpensive and easy-to-manufacture weapons compared to ballistic and cruise missiles, so production of such drones should be expected to intensify already in Russia. Russia may also soon receive Fateh and Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from Iran, which it will certainly use in Ukraine.
Unfortunately, Ukraine's current air defence/protection capabilities will not yet be able to repel these missiles. Therefore, it is crucial now to rally around providing Ukraine with air defence complexes such as the Patriot PAC-3 and SAMP-T systems.
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