Missile traces seen, as Russia's attacks on Ukraine continue in Donbas region, Ukraine.

Russia 'To Swarm' Ukrainian Sky With Iranian Drones - Ukraine

Monday, 02/06/2023

Shortly after reports surfaced that Iran plans to construct a drone factory in Russia, Ukrainian sources say Moscow intends to "swarm" Ukraine's air defenses.

Newsweek said on Monday that Moscow is set to receive a new batch of Iranian-made Shahed drones, according to a Ukrainian military intelligence official.

Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of the Main Intelligence Directorate within Ukraine's defense ministry, told Ukrainian outlet RBC that Russia will shortly receive another delivery of Shahed-131 and -136 drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, from Tehran.

Skibitsky did not specify a time scale for the reported delivery, but suggested that previously, Russia had received batches of between 250 and 300 "suicide" or "kamikaze" drones. "Stocks need to be replenished," he said, adding that Russia was attempting "to use what they have left in the most effective way."

He added that Russian forces have "used approximately 660 Shahed drones" to date, but will be expecting to have up to 1,750 at their disposal.

Emphasizing that a small amount—5 to10 [UAVs] cannot have such an effect, the deputy chief of Ukraine's military intelligence said that Russian forces were looking to send the drones in "swarms" that could breach Ukrainian air defense systems.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal quoted officials from a country aligned with the US as saying that a high-level Iranian delegation traveled to Russia in early January to make preparation for a drone factory. The report claimed that Moscow and Tehran are cooperating on plans to construct a factory that could make at least 6,000 Iranian-designed drones.

Russia is planning a major offensive to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine on 24 February, according to Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov.

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