Iran admits it sent rallies to Russia before invading Ukraine
Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) – Iran first admitted on Saturday that it had sent drones to Russia but stressed that it had made them available to its ally before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, confirming Kiev’s accusations that Moscow had Iran-made drones used to launch attacks on civilians and infrastructure.
“Russia provided us with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine,” Iran’s official news agency IRNA quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying.
This is the first time Tehran has spoken out about Moscow’s delivery of drones, while consistently denying these allegations by Ukraine and its Western allies in recent weeks.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reacted and warned of the consequences of Iran’s “collusion” with Moscow.
“Tehran should realize that the consequences of complicity in the crimes of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine will outweigh the benefits (that Iran would derive) from its support for Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nkolenko wrote. on Facebook.
Abdollahian reiterated his readiness to investigate any “evidence” presented by Kyiv of Russia’s use of Iranian marches in the conflict.
Kyiv said about 400 Iranian drones have already been used against civilians in Ukraine, and Moscow has ordered about 2,000 additional planes.
Tehran’s admissions about Moscow’s delivery of drones point to the rapprochement between Russia and Iran that has begun in recent months amid US- and European Union-backed Ukraine, while China refuses to directly side with a warring party seize.
Tehran again denied supplying Russia with missiles, saying the allegations were “completely false”.
The Washington Post reported October 16 that Iran was preparing to send missiles to Russia.
In response, the European Union and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on three Iranian generals and a defense contractor accused of supplying drones to Russia.
In September, Kyiv decided to significantly limit diplomatic relations with Tehran on this issue
Additional power rationing
In view of the high demand for electricity on Saturday, the operating company announced that it had imposed “additional rationing … in the form of emergency outages”.
The restrictions have affected several regions, including the capital Kyiv, and electricity has been shut off for days to reduce electricity consumption by civilians.
Power plants have been badly damaged by several Russian strikes in recent weeks, fueling fears among residents of spending the winter without electricity and water.
On the ground in the north-east of the country, Ukrainian military commander Roman Grychenko told AFP that “the situation is stable”, citing “intermittent attacks by drones, artillery and Russian commandos” in the area retaken from the Ukrainians in September.
“We are advancing at full speed in all directions,” he said from the recaptured village of Staritsya, three kilometers from the Russian border.
In the south, the Ukrainian presidency felt that “the Russian occupiers are trying to identify the identities of residents who refuse to be evacuated” to areas occupied by Moscow’s forces away from the front lines and even into Russia itself.
Russian President Vladimir Putin justified the evacuations for the first time on Friday by saying “those currently living in Kherson should be removed from the most dangerous combat zones”.
Ukraine again condemned its policy of “deportation”.
For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday announced “the destruction of a (second-hand) radar station for S-300 anti-aircraft missiles” and the interception of several American Hymars missiles in the Kherson region.
target a judge
In the east, Russian occupation authorities announced on Saturday that a judge of the Donetsk Republic’s Supreme Court was wounded by a bullet on Friday and is “in serious condition”.
The Interior Ministry of this region in eastern Ukraine, annexed by Moscow at the end of September, did not give any further details about the nature and reasons for the attack.
Pro-Russian separatist leader in the Donetsk region (east), Denis Pushlin, said the judge had “convicted Nazi war criminals,” a term the Kremlin used to describe the Kiev regime to justify its invasion of Ukraine.
In northern Ukraine, border guards are preparing to prevent “a (new) Russian invasion” from Russia’s ally Belarus, despite Russian withdrawals from the region in late March and early April.
Andrei Bogdan, the mayor of Gorodnya, a village near the Belarusian border, said that “the situation is completely different now” because “we depend on the border guards, on our army, on all defense forces.”
© 2022 AFP
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