British intelligence: Ukraine is increasingly successful in combating drones

British intelligence: Ukraine is increasingly successful in combating drones

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suspects Russia of involvement in Iran’s nuclear program as part of payments for Iranian drones. On Monday, Zelensky said in a video message to a conference of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The Ukrainian president once again asked Israel to hand over weapons to exclude the risk of Russian air strikes with Iranian combat drones. “I have a question for you: How do you think Russia is paying Iran? Is Iran only interested in money? Maybe it’s not about money at all, but about Russian assistance to Iran’s nuclear program,” Zelensky said. Moscow and Tehran deny an arms deal. However, there is evidence that the UAVs that Russia has recently used in the hundreds against Ukraine came from Iran or of Iranian design. Zelensky said the Russian military is receiving Iranian instructions when using drones.

This alliance and the Russian attacks would not have happened if Israel had already decided in 2014 to supply arms to Ukraine, Zelensky said. “This alliance simply wouldn’t exist if your politicians had made a decision at that time,” Zelensky said at the conference. Apparently, the Israeli government decided “a long time ago, in 2014”, “not to bother the Kremlin, and not to really help Ukraine.”

Kyiv has repeatedly called on Israel for its support against the Russian invasion in recent months. In 2014, after the so-called referendum, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea. In the same year, pro-Russian separatists occupied territories in the Ukrainian part of the Donbass region. Referring to the current situation in his country, Zelensky said the “disgusting noise of Iranian drones” could be heard “in our sky night after night.” Citing Ukrainian intelligence, he spoke of “about 2,000” Shahid drones that Moscow had ordered from Tehran. It wasn’t clear at first whether the number Zelenskyj cited indicated new or previous purchases. The Ukrainian president added that Iranian representatives had trained Russian forces on drones. With “air terrorism”, Russia wants to “compensate for its losses on the ground.”

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Zelensky made the statement a few days before the Israeli parliamentary elections scheduled for November 1. Earlier on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Reznikov that Israel would not supply Ukraine with “weapons systems”. At the end of the week, Moscow warned Israel against delivering arms shipments to Kyiv.

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