Iranian drone instructors spotted in Belarus, says Defense Ministry

23 October 2022, 07:41 PM
Iranian kamikaze drone Shahed-136 (Photo:REUTERS/Roman Petushkov/File Photo)

Iranian kamikaze drone Shahed-136 (Photo:REUTERS/Roman Petushkov/File Photo)

A group of Iranian instructors have been observed in Belarus, where they may be assisting in the coordination of launching Shahed-136 kamikaze drones at infrastructure facilities in Kyiv and the northern and western regions of Ukraine, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine, operated by Ukraine’s Special Operations Forces, reported on Oct. 23.

Allegedly, the group of Iranian instructors, believed to be officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, are under the heavy protection of Russian National Guard and FSB officers. Their presence was noticed in the village of Mykulichi, Gomel Oblast.

These Iranian military officials’ role in the attack on Kyiv was revealed by Belarusian partisans, the NRC stated.

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Additionally, the Ukrainian military has reported that the Russians have taken full control of air bases in the Belarusian settlements of Baranovichi and Lida, and are continuing to use them to launch strikes on Ukrainian territory.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has falsely denied any connection to Russia’s use of their drones. They also declared their readiness to negotiate with Ukraine to "refute the accusations.”

Earlier, White House spokesman John Kirby said that the United States has evidence of the presence of Iranian instructors in occupied Crimea. Ac-cording to the White House, they control the attacks of Russian drones on Ukrainian infrastructure and civilians, corroborated by reports from The New York Times.

On Oct. 11, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy claimed that Russia had ordered 2,400 more Shahed-136 attack drones from Iran, referring to intelligence data.

On Oct. 17, Kyiv suffered from a mass attack of Iranian-made suicide drones, which resulted in the death of five people and multiple injures. A pregnant woman and her husband were among the victims.

Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klychko stated that about 28 drones targeted the capital that day, though the majority of them were intercepted. Even with those efforts, five explosions were recorded in Kyiv as a result of the drone attack.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has urged Iran to immediately stop supply-ing Russia with suicide drones. Meanwhile Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has proposed that Kyiv formally break off diplomatic ties with Iran. Ukraine has so far refused to extend the accreditation of the Iranian ambassador, and reduced the number of personnel in the Iranian embassy to only a few employees.

Earlier, The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials, reported that Iran had secretly agreed to provide Russia with not only attack drones, but also surface-to-surface ballistic missiles for Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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