The drones utilized by Russia in its attacks on Ukrainian cities, which are of Iranian origin, are assembled using components from Western sources. This information was disclosed in a classified document sent by Kiev to its Western allies and reported on by The Guardian today. The document also includes a call from Ukraine for long-range missile strikes on production facilities located in Russia, Iran, and Syria.
This seven-page document, shared by the Ukrainian government in August, was disseminated to the G7 countries, comprising the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, and Italy. It revealed that over the previous three months, Russia had conducted more than 600 airstrikes on Ukrainian cities employing drones equipped with Western technology. The Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 models, with a range of up to 2,000 kilometers, were found to contain 52 and 57 Western-made components, respectively, according to the document.
The report states, “Among the manufacturers are companies based in countries in the sanctions coalition: the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Poland,” as reported by The Guardian. However, the document does not indicate any wrongdoing on the part of these Western companies. It states that Iranian drone production primarily relies on readily available commercial components, the supply of which is poorly controlled or not controlled at all. These components largely originate from Turkey, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Costa Rica.
According to the Ukrainian document, drone production is shifting towards Russia, particularly in the vicinity of the city of Yalabuga in Tatarstan, although Tehran continues to provide essential components. The Iranian government is reportedly attempting to distance itself from supplying arms to Russia, as it struggles to meet Russian demand and the intensity of drone usage in Ukraine, as stated by Kiev.
Ukraine has also proposed that the Western countries consider launching missile strikes on drone production facilities in Iran, Syria, and potentially a facility in Russia, among other locations. The report notes that such actions would likely be met with resistance from Western allies. It suggests that “missile attacks could be carried out by the Ukrainian armed forces if partners provide the necessary resources.”
This intelligence report was prepared by the Ukrainian intelligence services and the Ukrainian Research Centre for Military Equipment. The Guardian reports that it offers the most current analysis of Russia’s drone strategy and production plans since September 13, 2022, when the use of Iranian-made drones was first reported in the Kharkiv region’s city of Kupyansk.
The report also reveals that Russia receives these drones via the Caspian Sea, with drones being transported from Tehran to the Iranian port of Amirabad and then to the Russian port city of Makhachkala.