Russian military units will soon go into battle with equipment provided by one of their few remaining allies: Iran.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry confirmed the news in a statement on Monday, claiming that Russian forces have already stockpiled Iran-made equipment awaiting shipment to the field. This includes around 1,500 bulletproof vests and 1,500 helmets destined for the 3rd Motorized Rifle Division of Russia.
The Ukrainian ministry claimed that this new shipment of equipment was sent by Iran in response to reports that the Russian military had suffered major setbacks in manufacturing equipment for its soldiers. This lack was partly due to the Russian President Wladimir Putin‘s recent partial mobilization effort, recruiting hundreds of thousands of men in a month to bolster the war effort in Ukraine.
This influx of equipment, the Ukrainian government claimed in its statement, is not the only help that Iran plans to give to Russia.
“The Iranian authorities are planning to send a new group of advisers to assist the Russian Federation in combat operations of a new type [unmanned aerial vehicle] – ‘Arash-2’ and Iranian surface-to-surface missiles,” read the statement, which was translated into English. “Your deliveries are scheduled to begin in the near future. Also from Iran, a group of advisers to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps arrived in Jankoy [a town in Crimea] To provide support in the combat use and improvement of UAVs ‘Shahed-136’ and ‘Mohajer-6’.
During the Russian campaign in Ukraine Iran has denied reports that it supplied drones to its ally’s military. Ukraine, meanwhile, has repeatedly claimed this scores shot down of drones made in Iran. On Wednesday, the country claimed to have shot down more than 200 of the unmanned vessels in a month alone.
On October 15, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) also denied Iran’s denial, citing insider leaks that claimed Russia had bought a number of new, state-of-the-art drones from the country. The report also claimed that Russia is using its partnership with Iran to circumvent sanctions imposed on the country by other nations.
“Ukrainian and Russian Telegram channels reported ‘leaked’ information from unspecified Iranian sources that Russia has purchased an unknown number of Arash-2 drones, which are said to be faster and more destructive than them Shahd-136 Drones currently used by Russian armed forces,” the ISW explained in its report.
news week has reached out to Iranian and Russian government officials for comment.