LONDON: Iranian drones supplied to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine contain parts made in the US, Europe, and Asia, Ukrainian investigators have found.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the investigators found drones shot down by Kyiv’s military contained pieces of Western-made hardware that guide and power the machines.
Weapons experts told the newspaper that Iranian engineers had likely been able to scavenge and copy pieces from downed American and Israeli drones for use in their own drones.
However, some parts found in the Russia-Ukraine theater were directly linked to American companies, at least one of which told the WSJ they were now investigating the reports.
The Iranian-made Shahed-136 drone has become the go-to weapon for Russian forces, who have used the model to strike Ukrainian cities, despite denial of their use from both Tehran and Moscow.
However, Western governments and intelligence agencies say they have evidence of the drone supply, as well as exchanges of information between Russian and Iranian military personnel on how to operate the drones.
“Today, I received a call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during which I demanded that Iran immediately cease the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Friday.
And Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed on Friday to continue to neutralize the impact of Russian drone strikes.
“Together, we will certainly clip the wings of all metal monsters, no matter how many of them and from where they fly in the direction of Ukraine,” he said.
“Enemy planes will fall. Enemy helicopters will fall. ‘Shaheds’ will fall. It is only the Ukrainian people who will not fall.”