Iranians Training Russian Soldiers Were Killed In Crimea – According to a report by The Guardian, Iranians sent to advise Russian soldiers on how to use Iranian-manufactured attack drones were killed by Ukrainian forces.
The claims were confirmed by a top Ukrainian security official.
During an interview in Kyiv, Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of the Ukrainian national security and defense council, said that Iranians should never have been in Ukraine.
“You shouldn’t be where you shouldn’t be,” Danilov said. “They were on our territory. We didn’t invite them here, and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation we must kill them.”
The Ukrainian official said that the Iranians killed in a Ukrainian strike were assisting Russian troops in Crimea, which matches reports from October that Iranians had been sent to the peninsula to show troops how to use and maintain the drones.
It means that while Iranian officials were technically on Ukrainian territory, they were not present on any territory claimed by Russian forces this year.
Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014 and has remained under Russian control ever since.
Danilov Insists Iran Is Lying
Citing repeated claims from Tehran that no drones have been sent to Russia since the invasion officially began, Danilov insisted that the presence of Iranians in Crimea proves that Iran is providing military support to Russia.
“The Iranians keep insisting that they are not suppliers of weapons to the Russian Federation but we need confirmation. Do we have this confirmation as of today? No we don’t,” the Ukrainian official said.
“We understand these things don’t fly without [people] learning how to operate them, and the Russians don’t have the brains to figure it out themselves … In the modern world you can’t hide anything. It is just a matter of time when it will be made public.”
Danilov also expressed concern over reports that Iran is preparing to provide ballistic missiles to Russia, but also suggested the news means that Russia is struggling to provide its military with sufficient military hardware to continue its assault in Ukraine effectively.
If Iran does provide the weapons, Danilov said that it would prove that Russia has “no capability of manufacturing their own missiles” in the numbers required to maintain a large-scale assault.
Danilov also told interviewers that if Iran is capable of producing the weapons Russia needs, despite having been under sanctions since 1979, it raises significant questions about the enforcement of these sanctions globally.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.