On October 17, Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman Yurii Ihnat claimed that the country’s air defense downed 26 Iranian-made Shahed-136 kamikaze drones launched overnight on October 16.
Kyiv had stated that Russia launched an attack on the capital city using close to 30 “kamikaze” drones on Monday morning.
Videos of attack drones flying menacingly over Ukrainian airspace and crashing into structures have been widely shared on social media. These attacks were primarily carried out using the Iranian-made “loitering munitions” Shahed-136, also known in the Russian military as Geran-2.
Rob Lee, a defense analyst, has tweeted multiple videos of Geran-2 drones hovering above Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and the eastern region of Sumy.
Video of one of the Russian Geran-2 loitering munitions over Kyiv. 2/https://t.co/wtRYy0r8V6 pic.twitter.com/E6dPqIWx9m
— Rob Lee (@RALee85) October 17, 2022
In recent weeks, Ukraine has increasingly been targeted by Iranian-made drones, mainly the Shahed-136. These aircraft can operate within a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), and when they collide with their targets, they detonate lethal explosive charges.
Ukrainians took to Twitter to denounce the drone assaults, which they claim target civilian infrastructure. Ukrainian officials said that the most recent Russian offensive demonstrated the necessity for further military assistance from the West to help prevent further attacks.
“We need air defense systems,” tweeted Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the interior minister, accusing Moscow of carrying out a terrorist strike.
Kyiv recently also claimed that Moscow procured over 2000 drones from Iran, and these UAVs were first intensively employed against targets in the south before being transferred to Belarus last week.
In the most significant wave of attacks in months, Russian missiles slammed on Kyiv and other cities on October 10. Following the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that the majority of the specified targets of the attacks had been destroyed.
In a press conference following a summit with regional leaders in Astana, Kazakhstan, the Russian leader told reporters that 22 of the 29 targets in Ukraine that the military had identified had been destroyed. He further noted that “they are getting” the remaining seven targets.
According to a report released by a US think-tank last week, Russian forces may be receiving training to operate Shahed-136 drones from members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The “Ukrainian Resistance Center,” which claimed that the training took place in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, was cited in the report by the Institute for the Study of War but did not offer any additional information.
Separately, Washington Post reported that Iran intends to send additional missiles and drones to supplement Russia’s dwindling stocks. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Western partners have agreed to supply new air defenses.
Russia Strikes HIMARS Shells
On October 17, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed they had destroyed 21 shells of Ukrainian multiple-launch rocket systems HIMARS and “Vilkha.” The Russian Army has had a lot of trouble dealing with the HIMARS missile system, which the US provided to Ukraine.
The weapon system made a name for itself on the battlefield by striking and destroying the Russian Army’s vital infrastructure. In mid-September, Moscow claimed it had attacked a Ukrainian facility being used to maintain HIMARS.
Besides this, the Russian MoD claimed that two HARM anti-radar missiles and nine drones were blown out of the sky.
In a statement, the MoD noted, “21 shells of HIMARS and Vilkha multiple launch rocket systems were shot down in the areas of the settlements of Vladimirovka of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Olgovka, Nikolaevka, Novaya Kakhovka, Merry and Otradokamenka Kherson region.”
“In addition, two American HARM anti-radar missiles were intercepted in the area of the village of Antonovka, Kherson region,” it added. Moscow also alleged that Russian artillery struck MLRS “Smerch” and M777 howitzer batteries in Ukraine.
The Russian MoD stated that a Ukrainian battery of Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems and an American battery of M777 howitzers in the Kharkiv region were decimated during the counterbattery battle.
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