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UK intelligence: Russia launches drones from Bryansk Oblast, making attacks on Kyiv easier

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 1, 2023 4:48 PM 1 min read
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Russia has started launching drones from Bryansk Oblast, using "a different axis of attack, closer to Kyiv," the U.K. Defense Ministry reported on March 1.

Ukraine's Air Force reported shooting down 11 out of the 14 Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones launched on Feb. 27. Nine drones were destroyed in the airspace around Kyiv, according to the head of Kyiv City Military Administration Serhiy Popko.

The U.K Defense Ministry reported that, due to the vector of the attack, the drones were "highly likely launched from the Russian Bryansk Oblast," while the only "observed launch site since mid-December was from the Krasnodar Oblast, across the Sea of Azov."

"This is likely to decrease time in the air over Ukraine and (is) an attempt to further stretch Ukrainian air defenses," the ministry added.

According to the ministry, there had been no reports of Russia's using Shahed drones to attack Ukraine between Feb. 15 and Feb. 27, which "likely indicates that Russia has run down its current stock," and it will likely seek to resupply.

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

In February, the Guardian reported that Iran had smuggled at least 18 long-range Mohajer-6 combat drones to Russia in November for the war against Ukraine shortly after a Russian delegation visited Tehran.

On Feb. 5, the WSJ reported that Moscow and Tehran were planning to build a factory in Russia that could produce more than 6,000 Iranian-designed combat drones.

In November, the U.S. imposed sanctions against companies and individuals involved in producing and transferring Iranian drones to Russia. The EU and Canada have also sanctioned Iran over its supply of kamikaze drones to Moscow.

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