The new development is in the form of support that Russia is going to receive from the Arab country Iran.
Iran is preparing to ship 1,000 new weapons, including missiles and attack drones, to Russia, which will be used against Ukraine, officeholders from a western country told CNN. This is the first time the Arab country has been known to ship advanced precision-guided missiles to Russia, which could prove pivotal in various battles.
Recently, officials said they only found out about 450 of the weapons packages because Iran stopped documenting weapon shipments. Russia is using these bots to deadly effect in Ukraine, and last week Ukrainian authorities said they’d shot down more than 300 Iranian drones.
It is unclear when this shipment will arrive in Russia, but officials believe the weapons will be delivered to the country before the end of the year. We can only guess what having Iranian support will do for Russia’s military effort.
The attacking drones have been a significant aspect of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine since February of this year, but their use has spiked in recent months. The United States and Kyiv say that Russia acquired drones from Iran in the summer, and these Iranian-made drones have been used extensively since then.
Iranian drones are known to be “dawdling munitions,” circling a potential area of attack until they actually strike. They’ve been used mostly to target critical energy infrastructure in Ukraine.
The US military is unsure if Russia will attempt to buy additional ammunition from Iran, Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said on Tuesday.
However, there are still concerns that Russia may also seek to acquire additional advanced munitions capabilities from Iran, for example, surface-to-surface missiles. This would permit them to shorten the flight time of a rocket carried on, for instance, a MiG-27 type aircraft, and detonate it in Ukraine near soldiers.
Eugene Mihal, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Air Force Command, says Ukraine currently doesn’t have an effective defense against surface-to-surface missiles. As per his knowledge, it is possible to shoot them down (theoretically), but it isn’t easy to do so with the means they currently have.
At the moment, the US is also unclear if they will be able to stop Iranian shipments to Russia, even as people worry that they might send more advanced weaponry. US officials have acknowledged that they are aware of discussions about Iranian weaponry to Russia, but those weapons haven’t been delivered yet.
The question of how long Iran and Russia will work together is indefinite because it is unclear how long either one will continue to supply the other with weaponry.