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General Staff: Iranian drone instructors arrive in Luhansk

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 17, 2023 2:43 PM 1 min read
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A group of Iranian military instructors has arrived in the occupied city of Luhansk to train Russian troops on the use of Shahed drones, Ukraine's General Staff reported on Feb. 17.

Earlier, Iranian instructors were spotted in Russian-occupied territories of Kherson Oblast, Crimea, and Belarus.

According to Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson for Southern Operational Command, Russia is moving its training points to safer places.

"They (Russians) fear that these bases will be destroyed and no longer place them in our area of responsibility. In particular, because we are literally on the threshold of receiving long-range weapons," Humeniuk said on national TV.

Humeniuk added that "stormy weather and powerful sea winds" could also have influenced Russia's decision to move its drone training points to the eastern city of Luhansk, located just near the Ukrainian-Russian border.

Humeniuk didn't rule out that drone flight routes would change as Russian troops may start launching them to strike Ukrainian targets from the occupied territories in the east.

In November last year, Ukraine's military killed Iranian instructors training Russian forces to operate kamikaze drones in occupied Crimea, according to National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksii Danilov.

Russia has been using Iranian-made kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine since September, launching attacks against civilians and destroying energy facilities across the country.

Guardian: Iran smuggles long-range combat drones to Russia for war against Ukraine.
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