Ukraine moved on Tuesday to sever diplomatic ties with Iran for supplying deadly “kamikaze” drones to Russia.
Moscow has launched dozens of Iranian-made Shahed 136 drones at Ukrainian cities in the past two weeks, destroying energy infrastructure and killing civilians.
“The actions of Iran are vile and deceitful,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday. “We won’t suffer them, because all those actions were done while Iran told us that they didn’t support the war and won’t support any of the sides with their weapons.”
The Shahed 136 is a delta-winged aircraft used as a “kamikaze” air-to-surface attack weapon.
It carries a small warhead that explodes on impact. Iran agreed to supply Russia with the drones, along with Fateh and Zolfaghar surface-to-surface missiles, in a deal signed on Oct. 6 when top officers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps visited Moscow.
NATO pledged on Tuesday to supply air defense systems to Ukraine to combat the drones. The Western military alliance “will in the coming days deliver counter-drone systems to counter the specific threat of drones, including those from Iran,” its secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday.
Russia has destroyed almost a third of Ukraine’s power stations in the past week, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday, as Moscow rained more missiles down on infrastructure in a campaign to intimidate civilians.
Missiles struck power stations in Kyiv, where they killed three people, and in Kharkiv in the east, Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih in the south and Zhytomyr in the west, causing electricity blackouts.
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