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Russian troops use Iranian kamikaze drones to attack Ukrainian cities

On October 17, Kyiv was attacked with Iranian-made kamikaze drones for the first time. Energy infrastructure and a residential building were damaged. Five civilians were killed, a pregnant woman among them.

Iran-made drone hit a 120-year-old residential building in the central part of the city. 17 October, 2022.
Photo: Glib Garanich

What are the kamikaze drones?

Kamikaze drone is an airplane containing explosives to be flown in a suicide crash on a target (definition from Merriam-Webster online dictionary). 

Iranian-made Shahed 136 kamikaze drone.
Photo: Serhii Supynskyi / AFP

Russia has already ordered 2,400 of Shahed 136 kamikaze drones from Iran to attack Ukraine’s military positions, but also cities, civilians, and critical infrastructure. The first-ever Russian attack with Iran-produced kamikaze drones was reported on 20 September in Ochakiv, the Mykolaiv region.

How is Russia using kamikaze drones?

Russia began to massively use Iranian drones for attacks on Ukraine. Since September 20, they have already been used in different regions, such as Odesa, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytskyi, Cherkasy, and Kyiv regions. 

Only during the last week, Russian troops launched a massive attack across entire Ukraine hitting civilian and critical infrastructure with at least 100 kamikaze drones: residential buildings, power plants, sewage treatment plants, bridges, playgrounds, and more. 

oil storage on fire in Mykolaiv
Three Iran-made drones damaged the sunflower oil terminal in Mykolaiv. 17 October 2022.
Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

The Armed Forces of Ukraine keep fighting back and manage to shoot down 75-82% of kamikaze drones, but some of them still reach their goals.

Since October 10, Russian aggressors have destroyed 30% of Ukraine’s power stations in different regions. As a result, a number of Ukrainian cities have been left without electricity, water supply, and connection. Nevertheless, Ukrainian emergency services work day & night to maintain cities’ lives and restore the supply.

lviv without power
Russia’s attack on critical infrastructure caused a total blackout in Lviv. 10 October 2022.
Photo: Roman Baluk

Unfortunately, due to these cruel attacks by Russian occupiers, there are many casualties among Ukrainian civilians. During the recent attack on Kyiv, five people died. Among them was a couple expecting a baby. Earlier, a drone killed a man in Odesa and a woman in the Sumy region. There are injured, including children.

More Iranian weapons to come

The Washington Post reports that Iran could have committed more deadly weapons for the Russian military. Apart from 2,400 pieces of kamikaze drones, Russia reportedly contracted Iranian-made ballistic surface-to-surface missiles to be used against Ukraine’s cities and military positions. They are capable of striking targets at distances of 300-700 km.

Iranian advisers also visited temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine to train the Russian military and help them launch the drones.

To protect civilians and critical infrastructure in the cold months that are coming, Ukraine needs more air defence systems and ammunition. Russia has to be recognized as a terrorist state and more sanctions should be imposed on both Russia and Iran.