Russia aims Iranian made drones at hasidic Jews in Uman - report

Ukraine's military has reportedly shot down more than ten drones all aimed in the direction of Uman, where hasidic Jews are celebrating Rosh Hashanah.

 Ultra-Orthodox Jewish pilgrims celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday, the Jewish New Year, at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Uman, Ukraine September 25, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/VLADYSLAV MUSIIENKO)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish pilgrims celebrate the Rosh Hashanah holiday, the Jewish New Year, at the tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Uman, Ukraine September 25, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/VLADYSLAV MUSIIENKO)

While thousands of Israelis marked the Jewish New Year with celebrations in the city of Uman, media outlets in Ukraine reported on Tuesday that Russian forces deliberately launched at least 10 Iranian suicide drones of the Shahad-136 model over the city, with the aim of harming Israelis staying there.

According to the report, during the last few days, the military forces of Ukraine shot down more than ten drones, some of which were launched from the territory of the Crimean Peninsula and aimed at Uman. According to the assessment, Russia wanted to focus on hasidic religious sites with a large audience.

A Ukrainian security official told the Babel news website that "planned acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens are one of the conditions for the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia.

"As we know, this is not the first example of cooperation between the two countries. Not long ago, a Ukrainian civilian plane was shot down in Iran, probably by mistake. But you can see the interests of the Kremlin behind this case."

Yesterday it was reported that three Iranian suicide drones were shot down by the Ukrainian air defense near the city of Odesa. The drone deal between Iran and Russia led to a deterioration in relations between Tehran and Kyiv, and earlier this week, Ukraine announced that it would cut ties with Iran, claiming that "Tehran supplies the Russian army with drones", a move that President Volodymyr Zelensky called "collaboration with evil".]

 A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS) A part of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian military authorities described as an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 and which was shot down near the town of Kupiansk, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, is seen in Kharkiv region, Ukraine, in this handout picture released September 13, 2022 (credit: THE STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTORATE OF THE UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

At the same time, the Ukrainian Air Force also reported that, for the first time, it had shot down a large Iranian drone of the Mohajer-6 type. After the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry had already announced that the delivery of the drones would lead to severe damage to the bilateral relations between the countries, a political source said that "in response to the fact the unfriendly act, the Ukrainian side decided to revoke the authority of the Iranian ambassador, and also to significantly reduce the number of diplomatic staff of the Iranian embassy in Kyiv."

Warning against traveling to Uman for Rosh Hashanah

Last month, the Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a severe warning ahead of the traditional Rosh Hashanah events in Uman. "Russia's ongoing military aggression makes it impossible to guarantee the safety of foreign citizens on the territory of Ukraine," it said.

In the published message, there was a clear call for worshipers to avoid the pilgrimage. Along with this call, the Ministry also referred to those who will still decide to observe the annual tradition: "If you decide to visit Uman contrary to these warnings, you should note that Ukraine has instituted martial law in the country," read the warning.

At the same time, Ukraine's ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Kornyinchuk, said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post last month that  “Rosh Hashanah is coming, and no matter what we say, Orthodox Jews will try to get to Uman again.”

“We understand your willingness to go to Uman and favor your support for Ukraine, but this is not the right time. We cannot guarantee your security."