Russia Stop Using Iranian Shahed-136 Drones Due To Technical Defects

Russia has stopped using Iranian-made kamikaze drones in Ukraine because they have defects, a Ukrainian official said.

Yevgeny Silkin, of the Joint Forces Command for Strategic Communications of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that Russia had stopped using the Iranian drones, which are made of plastic and other materials that are not frost resistant, according to Ukrainian news agency UNIAN. 

The outlet said that the drones have not been used in Ukraine since November 17, which was also the first day that it snowed in Ukraine this year.

Winters in Ukraine can be cold, with mean temperatures often below freezing between December and March.

Russia started to use the Iranian drones in October, as part of a new playbook that targeted power distribution and other critical infrastructure from afar. Ukrainian civilians have also been killed by drone strikes.

A composite image showing a drone in the sky and the aftermath of its strike on Kyiv on October 17, 2022.
A composite image showing an Iranian drone in the sky and the aftermath of a strike on Kyiv on October 17, 2022.

Iran and Russia have denied any cooperation on weapons, but Iran later admitted that it had sent Russia weapons, adding that this was before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started.

Multiple reports and Western intelligence assessments have contradicted this.

The UK, US, and EU have put sanctions on the drone manufacturer and some individuals over supplying the weaponry to Russia.

CNN reported in November that Iran was preparing to send more weapons to Ukraine, including short range ballistic missiles. And it reported that Iran and Russia had reached an agreement for Russia to start producing the drones itself.

The UK’s ministry of defense said on November 23 that Russia was likely running out of the drones, but that it could purchase more.

Multiple reports have also said that Iran has been training Russia on how to use the drones and other weapons.

On December 3rd, Avril Haines, the US National Intelligence Director, said that winter conditions are expected to slow the war, and that there was already a “reduced tempo.”

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