Russian servicemen Sergey Sozinov, Gleb Pivkin, Russian Air Force captain Andrey Stepovoy and Russian Air Force lieutenant Evgeny Glukhov are allegedly responsible for manning some of the Iranian-made kamikaze drones launched to attack Ukraine, according to a joint investigation by Slidstvo.Info and Nashi Groshi Lviv.
The four reportedly belong to the 294th State Center for Unmanned Aviation of the Russian Defense Ministry.
They allegedly underwent training in Iran in the summer of 2022, before Russia received its first batch of Iranian kamikaze drones.
Russia uses Iranian-produced kamikaze drones, along with missiles, to attack critical infrastructure across Ukraine.
Since early October, these repeated attacks have killed dozens of civilians and caused power, water, and heating cut-offs in multiple Ukrainian regions.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Dec. 19 that Russia had received a new batch of 250 Iranian drones.
As of Jan. 3 and since Sept. 11, the Ukrainian military has shot down nearly 500 drones launched by Russia, according to Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
He said on television that 84 of these drones were launched in the first two days of 2023, and all were downed.