Explosions in Kyiv region following Iranian suicide drone attack/Telegram
Iranian suicide drones that recently struck Ukrainian cities were full of European components, the Guardian reported, based on a secret document Kyiv sent to its Western allies asking them to equip it with long-range missiles to attack production sites in Russia, Iran and Syria.
A 47-page document submitted by the Ukrainian government to G7 governments last month said more than 600 drone strikes on its cities in the previous three months used Western technology.
According to the document, 52 electrical components manufactured by Western companies were found in the Shahed-131 and 57 Shahed-136 drones, which have a range of 2,000 kilometers at a cruising speed of 180 kilometers per hour.The document listed five European companies, including a Polish subsidiary of a British corporation, as the original manufacturers of the components identified in the drones that Russia is launching into its territory.
"Among the manufacturers are companies based in the countries of the sanctions coalition: the United States, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Japan and Poland," it said.
Iran is trying to distance itself from supplying weapons to Russia. Drone at a military parade in Tehran, last week/Reuters
According to the document, Iran has already begun to diversify its production chain by using a Syrian plant that delivers the drones to the Russian port city of Novorossiysk, but production of the drones is moving to Russia, to the Alboga province in the center of the country, although Tehran continues to supply the components. The document noted that the Iranian government is trying to "distance itself from supplying weapons to Russia" and "cannot cope with Russian demand and the extent of use in Ukraine."
One of the proposals Kyiv put forward to its Western allies, which are expected to reject it, was "missile attacks on the production plants of these drones in Iran, Syria, as well as a potential production site in Russia." Ukraine stressed that this plan could be carried out by its forces if they provided it with the "necessary means of destruction."
Ukraine did not imply in its document that these Western companies behaved improperly. "Iranian UAV production has adapted itself and uses mainly available commercial components, whose supply control is poor or non-existent," it said.
According to the Ukrainian report, tariff data show that "almost all imports to Iran originate in Turkey, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Costa Rica."
Bart Grothaus, a member of the European Parliament and a member of the parliament's defence and security subcommittee, said the coordination between EU intelligence services in dealing with the misuse of Western components was not good enough. "I think a lot of European intelligence agencies don't even look at the sanctions," he said.
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Drone wreckage in Kyiv, last year/Reuters
The Ukrainian government's document — "Barrage fatalities: Report on Shahed-131/136 drones" — provides the latest analysis of Russia's drone tactics and changing production plans since its first documented drone strike, which took place in Kharkiv Oblast on September 13 last year.
The pause in the attacks, which lasted from November 17 to December 7, was "probably due to the adaptation of drones designed for warm climates for the Ukrainian winter," which "may indicate further cooperation between Russia and Iran in the production and modernization of Shahed-136/131." According to the report, shipments of these types of UAVs pass through the Caspian Sea. From Tehran, the drones are being delivered to the Iranian port of Amirabad, and from there they are sent to the Russian port city of Makhachkala," it said.
In addition, the markings on the electronic components of the drones that have attacked Ukraine in recent months have been destroyed, "probably by laser," and Russian forces have begun using the names "Geranium-1" and "Geranium-2" to describe the drones, apparently as "part of an agreement between Iran and Russia to conceal Iran's role."
Ukraine noted in the report that in early July, a new model of Shahed-136, labeled "Y002" and "possibly assembled at a new manufacturing facility in Russia," was shot down on its territory. According to the document, this model had a different wing pattern, which "may also indicate production in a new location." Russia and Iran "are already working on a new engine for the Shahed-136, which should provide it with better speed and range," it said.
Russia and Syria did not comment on the report. Iran has denied throughout the war that the drones were delivered to Moscow after it broke out in February 2022, but had been supplied to it earlier. Some of the companies mentioned in the report said in response that they are working to ensure that their components are not being used beyond their original purpose and that they will increase control over their supply.
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