For two weeks now, reports of attacks on Ukraine by Iranian kamikaze drones «Shahed-136» have disappeared from the reports of the Ukrainian military. The BBC writes about this.
Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities stated that Russia could order thousands of «shaheeds» from Iran. What happened, why did they stop using them?
Where did the «mopeds»
Last time reported by the air force Ukraine information on the application of «shaheeds» appeared on November 17.
Then, as the military reported, they shot down five drones. After that, only Russian «Lancets» appeared in the reports of the military.
It is also a very dangerous weapon, however «lancets» fly at a distance of up to 40 kilometers and mainly threaten troops or objects close to the front line.
«Shaheds» could strike at a distance of hundreds, if not thousands of kilometers.
According to the military, the Russians simply stopped using them.
Ukrainian air force spokesman Yuriy Ignat confirms that for two weeks now Russia has not uses Iranian attack drones «Shahed-136». He announced this on the air of the telethon.
«It is likely that the first batch that they received has already ended. From the first batch, more than 400 «Shaheds» used in Ukraine, about 340 were beaten & # 187;, & # 8212; Ignat said.
He recalled that, according to the Ukrainian secret services, Russia ordered them around 1740.
«Probably now there is no way receive them. Perhaps there are processes of a political nature, because the situation in the Middle East is also difficult and Iran is also in very serious difficult circumstances», — Ignat added, hinting that Iran now needs this weapon itself.
Even more versions of why Russia stopped using «Shaheds», were voiced by the speaker of the «Yug» Natalya Gumenyuk.
She recalled that earlier «shaheeds» flew around Ukraine in large groups, and then abruptly disappeared.
The first and obvious reason, that Gumenyuk speaks about: they simply ran out, and due to various circumstances they cannot bring in new ones.< /p>
Another versionGumenyuk – Russia is temporarily changing the tactics of using «Shaheds». Some experts suggested that the Russians were holding them back for simultaneous use with massive missile strikes.
In addition, according to Gumenyuk, the use of «shahedin» may be affected by changes in weather conditions — and now Russia is studying the nuances of maneuvers in new cold and wet conditions.
Although earlier military expert Oleg Zhdanov predicted that the weather is unlikely to affect the «shahedin».
«Iran is not hot and desert. There can be snow and wind, drones should be ready for this. Navigation corrects for both wind and rain. Therefore, the drone can fly in rain or fog, this should not be a problem for him», — Zhdanov assumed earlier.
He also said that there are no reasons that would make it impossible for «Shaheeds» to zero temperatures.
And the fourth reason,which could have affected the use of attack drones by Russia – the destruction of training bases by Ukraine.
Natalya Gumenyuk recalled that the Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed a training center for drone operators with Iranian specialists in the south.
Back in October, the military reported that such bases were destroyed with precise strikes in the Kherson region.
«Therefore, we see that a whole complex of the above factors worked for the fact that now the «Shaheds» not used», — summed up Gumenyuk.
However, the military understands that this may be a maneuver or a temporary measure, so they are preparing to continue using them.
«We continue to view them as a constant threat and ready for reflection. It is likely that this pause is maintained temporarily so that we reduce our vigilance and readiness for use»,— she summed up.
During the autumn, Ukraine deployed a system of protection against «shaheeds». For this, they used both old anti-aircraft artillery and weapons received from Western partners.
During the last launches of «shaheeds», the military reported on very effective counteraction to drones, sometimes shooting down all 100% of launched & #171;Shahedov». This could also play a role for Russia in changing the tactics of their use, if they have not yet completely ended.
Military expert Dmitry Snegirev believes that diplomatic efforts played a major role. And the pressure on Iran forced it to stop deliveries of drones to Russia.
This scenario is also indicated by Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the presidential office. He notes that during the last month there has been «serious information» about the possible start of Iran's supply of modern long-range missiles to Russia.
However, these missiles have not yet appeared in Russia, and this may be the result of political pressure on Iran from Western countries. Arestovich hopes that this state of affairs will continue.