According to officials, Ukraine has so far destroyed more than 300 Iranian Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones. Since the beginning of this month, Russia has repeatedly deployed drones to attack vital energy infrastructure, turning them into a critical weapon in its inventory during the conflict in Ukraine.
But according to Yuriy Ihnat, the air force’s spokesman, Ukrainian forces are successfully stopping them from hitting civilian targets.
Speaking last week, Mr. Ihnat assessed that the majority of Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were successfully shot down by the Ukrainian air force.
If we take two weeks of ferocious employment of our combat troops against drones (Shahed-136) and the success of their downing, then today we have a figured.
Volodymyr Zelensky next to a downed kamikaze drone yesterday (Image: GETTY)
Vladimir Putin, Russia’s President (Image: GETTY)
The Cuban Missile crisis saw the world come to a standstill for two tense weeks as nuclear armageddon hung in the balance. Fast forward 60 years to the day and a chilling question lingers: is the world on the brink
On Tuesday President Volodymyr Zelensky told a conference on Ukraine reconstruction Russian rockets and Iran-made drones had destroyed more than a third of his country’s energy sector.
Speaking via video link, Mr Zelensky also told the conference in Berlin Ukraine had yet to receive “a single cent” towards a fast recovery plan worth a total £14.7billion ($17billion).
He explained: ”Russia is destroying everything so that it is harder for us to get through the winter.”
Ukraine: Part of a drone destroyed in the skies over the country (Image: GETTY)
Olaf Scholz, the chancellor of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, and other important politicians and bureaucrats were there.
Former US Marine John Sennett, who now resides in Ukraine with his Belarusian wife Natasha, told Express.co.uk earlier this month that he heard several drones flying over his Kyiv apartment, including one that crashed into a nearby building and killed at least four people, including a pregnant woman.
“We heard this buzzing noise this morning around 6:30 or 6:45, and then literally maybe three minutes later a massive explosion,” he said.
We heard another buzzing sound and then another explosion as we ran into the corridor, which is roughly 700 meters away from our home.
“And then we heard another one a little later, and then we heard a little more buzzing here and there, and then they put on an air raid stating Kaliber missiles had been shot from the Caspian Sea, but they hit Vinnytsia and Lviv, they didn’t target Kyiv,” the witness continued.
“They sound like a tiny moped or motor scooter, like the older ones that are a little bit noisier,” he continued.
“One went literally went right over our place – you hear them going and then you hear the explosion.”
Iran has denied Ukrainian and Western accusations that it is supplying drones to Russia.
However, in September the Ministry of Defence suggested it was “highly likely” Russia was deploying them as its stocks of weaponry “dwindled”.
Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s President (Image: GETTY)
In a series of tweets it said: “On 13 September 2022, Ukrainian officials reported that their forces had shot down a Shahed-136 UAV near Kupiansk, in the area of Ukraine’s successful ongoing offensive.
“The Shahed-136 is a one-way attack UAV with a claimed range of 2,500 kilometres. Similar Iranian-manufactured systems have likely been used in attacks in the Middle East, including against the oil tanker MT MERCER STREET in July 2021.”
The MoD added: “Russia is almost certainly increasingly sourcing weaponry from other heavily sanctioned states like Iran and North Korea as its own stocks dwindle.
“The loss of a Shahed-136 near the front lines suggests there is a realistic possibility that Russia is attempting to use the system to conduct tactical strikes rather than against more strategic targets farther into Ukrainian territory.”