Over 300 Iranian-made drones shot down by Ukraine to date - airforce official

The drones have become a key weapon in Russia's arsenal during its war in Ukraine and have often been used to target crucial energy infrastructure.

A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022. (photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
A drone is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on August 25, 2022.
(photo credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY)/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Ukraine has shot down more than 300 Iranian Shahed-136 'kamikaze' drones since Russia began using them, Ukrainian airforce spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said in a press briefing on Friday.

According to CNN, Ihnat said during the briefing that Moscow was "changing tactics because it doesn't have enough missiles left. They are running out of Iskander missiles. Other types of missiles are also scarce."

In a video message on the subject, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he is "grateful to everyone who participated in the fundraising for the 'catchers' of such 'Shaheds'. Only on the U24 platform, are 665,000 people from 70 countries.

"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. Enemy planes will fall. Enemy helicopters will fall. 'Shaheds' will fall. It is only the Ukrainian people who will not fall. A heroic people who will definitely go down in world history."

Iranian drones are the key weapon for Russia

The Iranian-made drones have become a key weapon in Russia's arsenal during its war in Ukraine and have often been used in the past month to target crucial energy infrastructure.

"Enemy planes will fall. Enemy helicopters will fall. 'Shaheds' will fall. It is only the Ukrainian people who will not fall. A heroic people who will definitely go down in world history."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

"We know how to shoot them down. We are studying them," Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said according to his ministry.

A drone is pictured during a large-scale drone combat exercise of Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in Semnan, Iran January 4, 2021. Picture taken January 4, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS)A drone is pictured during a large-scale drone combat exercise of Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in Semnan, Iran January 4, 2021. Picture taken January 4, 2021 (credit: IRANIAN ARMY/WANA/REUTERS)

Iran has denied Ukrainian and Western accusations that it is supplying drones to Russia. "We believe that arming either side will prolong the war and we do not think that war is the right way; not in Ukraine, not in Yemen, not in Syria, not in Afghanistan," Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdullahian said recently.

However, Ukraine has accused Iran of providing more than just drones to Russia. "They teach the Russians how to use kamikaze drones and directly monitor the launch of drones on Ukrainian civilian targets, including strikes on Mykolaiv and Odesa," the Ukrainian National Resistance Center said. "As we can see, Iran helps the aggressor not only with equipment but also with people."

In a phone call conversation with Abdollahian, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Iran to stop sending weapons to Russia.

Kuleba wrote on Twitter, "Today, I received a phone call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during which I demanded Iran to immediately cease the flow of weapons to Russia used to kill civilians and destroy critical infrastructure in Ukraine."