UK Defense Ministry: Russia began receiving ‘regular resupplies’ of small numbers of Iranian drones

Since the beginning of March, Russia has launched at least 71 attacks on Ukraine using Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones, following a two-week pause in drone attacks in late February, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.

According to the ministry, it indicates that “Russia has likely started receiving regular resupplies of small numbers” of Iranian-made drones.

Also, the ministry reported that Russia is likely launching the drones from its eastern Krasnodar Krai and northern-eastern Bryansk Oblast, which allows it the “flexibility to target a broad sector of Ukraine and decreases flying time to targets in the north of Ukraine.”

“It is also likely to be a further attempt to stretch Ukrainian air defenses,” the ministry added.

Russia has been using Iranian-made kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine since September, launching attacks against civilians and destroying energy facilities nationwide.

In February, the Guardian reported that Iran had smuggled at least 18 long-range Mohajer-6 combat drones to Russia in November for the war against Ukraine shortly after a Russian delegation visited Tehran.

On Feb. 5, the WSJ reported that Moscow and Tehran planned to build a factory in Russia that could produce more than 6,000 Iranian-designed combat drones.

In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions against companies and individuals involved in producing and transferring Iranian drones to Russia. The EU and Canada have also sanctioned Iran over its supply of kamikaze drones to Moscow.