Did Ukrainian Troops Get Hold Of Iranian Ammunition? – With Iran still expected to deliver short-range ballistic missiles and longer-range drones to Russia – though, now those deliveries may be delayed until October – the last place Iranian ammunition seemed likely to turn up is Ukraine.
Video footage and speculation shared online in recent days, however, seem to suggest that Ukrainian soldiers may have found themselves in possession of a substantial quantity of Iranian-made ammunition.
What To Make of the Footage
A video clip shared by Ukraine Weapons Tracker shows Ukrainian troops handling and preparing tank ammunition.
Soldiers pick up the projectiles, prepare them for use, and then begin loading them into a tank.
As Ukraine Weapons Tracker notes, however, taking a closer look reveals that the HE-FRAG projectiles seen in the video are the Iranian-made 125mm OF19 – a kind of ammunition that can be used with virtually every kind of Ukrainian tank.
“Ukrainian troops filming the preparation of tank ammo- nothing special at first glance, but the HE-FRAG projectile in the soldier’s hands is, in fact, Iranian 125mm OF19 which can be used with almost all Ukrainian tanks,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker writes.
Online sleuths were able to identify the rockets by their packaging, which looks to be standard Iranian packaging for ammunition manufactured in the country.
The projectiles themselves also give away their identity through the black fins and rear section on each rocket.
In a Twitter thread, Ukraine Weapons Tracker shows that the piles of boxes of ammunition in the video look the same as other photographs of Iranian ammunition.
While Iran has previously provided Russia with batches of attack drones, the delay of other ammunition and equipment could pose a significant problem for the Russians at a time when Ukraine is receiving more advanced weapons and machinery.
It’s also particularly troublesome for the Kremlin given that Russian forces are already in the process of launching a new offensive from east.
Who Sent the Ammunition?
It is unclear how the ammunition came to be in Ukraine, though it is almost certainly a result of a third party purchasing the ammunition and then sending it to Ukraine.
Ukraine Weapons Tracker also theorized that it was possible the weapons were originally intended for use by the Houthi movement in Yemen.
“As far as any public evidence shows, the Houthis (often quoted as a source of Iranian weapons in Ukraine) have not been using any of this ammunition- nor has any been seized on the way to Yemen,” Ukraine Weapons Tracker notes.
19FortyFive could not verify the authenticity of the footage.
#Ukraine: Ukrainian troops filming the preparation of tank ammo- nothing special at first glance, but the HE-FRAG projectile in the soldier’s hands is, in fact, Iranian ???????? 125mm OF19 which can be used with almost all Ukrainian tanks. pic.twitter.com/mBeHgoXCEJ
— ???????? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) February 23, 2023
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.
February 25, 2023 at 11:41 am
Jack: In your Javelin article, noticed 2 errors: it is not a surface-to-air missile, It is an American-manufactured FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile.
February 26, 2023 at 12:16 pm
Looks to me like the most likely reason as to why Ukraine has ammo from Iran, Is that it was recovered when Russia retreated and left behind armor and ammo.