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White House says Iranian troops in occupied Crimea support Russian drone strikes against Ukraine

by The Kyiv Independent news deskOctober 20, 2022 10:39 pm

Iran sent "a relatively small number" of Revolutionary Guard Corps members to Russian-occupied Crimea to help Moscow launch Shahed-136 kamikaze drones at Ukraine's critical infrastructure and civilians, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Oct. 20.

According to declassified U.S. intelligence reports, the Russians faced problems with the Iranian drones immediately after receiving them in August, the Washington Post reported.

"The information we have is that the Iranians have put trainers and tech support in Crimea, but it's the Russians who are doing the piloting," Kirby said. The European Union approved sanctions against Iran for selling its munitions to Russia on Oct. 20.

The U.S. has also warned about implementing sanctions against "all involved" in supplying Russia with Iranian-made kamikaze drones. 

Russia launched the first-ever kamikaze drone attack on Kyiv on Oct. 17, killing five civilians.

The Kyiv Independent news desk
The Kyiv Independent news desk

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