Russia Begins Using Iranian Drones Against Ukraine

Iran is supplying Russia with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Despite some early difficulties, Russia is now using the Iranian platforms for effective short-range air-to-ground attacks against frontline Ukrainian forces. This is in an effort to slow Ukraine’s counter-offensive while evading Ukrainian air defenses and without committing additional Russian forces. U.S. sanctions limiting Russia’s ability to buy Western components, particularly electronics, Iran’s readily available UAV arsenal despite extensive U.S. sanctions, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) elimination of the conventional arms embargo on Iran in 2020, have contributed to bringing these two pariah states and aggressors into closer cooperation.

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Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst