A senior Ukrainian presidential adviser said Iran has so far failed to deliver ballistic missiles to Russia and may not, as a result of diplomatic pressure and Iran’s own internal political turmoil.
Mikhaylo Podoljak also told The Guardian that the Russian military is short of the first batch of Iranian drones and only stockpiles enough cruise missiles for a “two or three” mass attack on Ukraine. said.
Russia is trying to replenish its arsenal with offers to buy Iranian missiles.Security Council Chief Nikolai Patrushev visited Tehran in November and was reported to have missiles on his shopping list.
However, Podoljak said the deal has not yet been finalized. “Iran is under enormous diplomatic pressure and the protests are also increasing pressure on the government,” he told The Guardian from his office in Kyiv.
“The government is starting to lose control over Iranian society and their domestic problems are growing. That’s why they don’t have time to deal with Russia. It’s not their priority.”
In a separate briefing, Western officials emphasized that Russia had depleted its stockpile of Iranian-made drones for two months in a series of attacks aimed primarily at Ukrainian energy grids. I almost agree with what you said.
A Western official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Tuesday that Russia “depleted” Iran’s drones about two to three weeks ago and “expects replenishment” while missile talks continue. said.
According to Ukraine, Iran initially supplied up to 2,400 drones to be used in deadly strikes on cities such as Kyiv and Zaporizhia. Their stocks were “almost depleted,” Podoljak added, but “as far as we know,” it was up to Moscow to produce more as Iran transferred the technology to Russia.
Western governments also believe Iran has not made a decision on whether to supply missiles to Russia, reflecting how much Iran wants to be drawn into the Ukraine war and its long-term relationship with Russia. is doing.
“Iran will want to think carefully about what they are trying to do, but there will also need to be a deeper conversation about what kind of deal Iran and Russia are trying to reach,” the official said. added.
Podoljak believes that talks on missiles are still underway between Moscow and Tehran, and as part of its negotiating position, the Russian government is citing experts to smash dissent, citing a nationwide backlash. It said it provided its own “cutthroat” to suppress the establishment. – Government protests. “Therefore, negotiations are ongoing, but as of today, no missiles have been transferred to Russia,” he said.
An oil storage tank at a Russian airfield in Kursk was set on fire by a drone strike on Tuesday, a day after Ukraine appeared to launch a daring drone strike against two military airfields deep in Russian territory, the sources said. said the governor of the Russian region.
Video footage posted on social media shows a massive fire at an airfield 175 miles (280 km) from the Ukrainian border, following a massive explosion that lit up the night sky. At dawn, a large column of black smoke was still visible over the site.
Roman Starovoit, governor of the Kursk region that borders Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app that there were no casualties in the attack and the fire was “localized” – Diaghirevo air bases in Ryazan and Engels on Monday In the attack that occurred after the attack on -2 base near Saratov.
Ukraine has not claimed responsibility, but it is widely believed to have acted. Russian sources say that Ukraine, at bases 300 and 500 miles from the border, originally used a modified Tu-141 Strizh reconnaissance drone manufactured by the Soviets in the 1970s.
However, initial satellite images from Dyagilevo, released by Israeli satellite imaging company ImageSat International, showed relatively limited damage from burns and objects near the Russian Tu-22M aircraft. Other experts suggest the base was attacked by drones from within Russia by a partisan group operating deep in the front lines.
Western officials say there is a “clear ban” on some NATO standard munitions used inside Russia after reports that US Himars rockets were modified to prevent the use of ATACMS long-range rockets. said. They hinted that the raids in Russia were likely carried out by Ukrainian-made and commercially acquired drones.
The presidential aide said the Ukrainian military was adept at defending against Russian missile attacks and shot down an estimated 60 of the 70 missiles launched on Monday, with Moscow upping the strength of the nationwide barrage. argued that it could not be sustained. longer.
Western intelligence services have backed previous estimates made by Ukraine in October that Russia had depleted 70% of its precision missiles. Since then, however, multiple attacks that have damaged or destroyed half of the power grid have raised questions about the true level of weapons stocks.
Earlier this week, Conflict Armament Research experts examined fragments from a Russian Kh-101 cruise missile fired over Kyiv in late November, and found that one missile was built in the summer and the other in September. concluded that it originated from a missile manufactured in
Western officials said Tuesday that when it comes to precision-guided missiles, it is believed that “Russia’s military-industrial complex can only produce many at a time,” and the approach of firing dozens in bursts reflects its limitations. rice field. of the country’s production capacity.
Podlyak said Ukraine, with foreign assistance, is also working to make its power grid more resilient, redesigning the grid so that areas with access to electricity are more likely to help other areas that have been cut off. said it does. Monday’s air raids caused a series of blackouts, but the country’s energy minister, Germany’s Garshchenko, said on Tuesday that power shortages would be largely restored by the end of the day.
Volodymyr Zelensky’s aide Podoljak also lashed out at Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on Saturday, saying the French president said the West would offer “guarantees to Russia” if Vladimir Putin agreed to peace talks. suggested that it should.
“It’s very strange that they don’t try to help the victims. It’s obvious who the victims are, but they’re trying to figure out how to satisfy the killer,” he said.