Russia is using a new delivery of Iran's Shahed drones to strike Ukraine to make up for a lack of precision munitions, reports say

Russia is using a new delivery of Iran's Shahed drones to strike Ukraine to make up for a lack of precision munitions, reports say
  • Russia used Iranian Shahed exploding drones to strike Ukraine, an ISW report said.

  • It is aiming to "offset the degradation" of its precision munition supply, the think tank said.

  • The Russian military used drones to target Kyiv for the first time in 25 days.

Russian forces are using Iranian-made Shahed drones and "other lower-precision systems" to strike Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) said in a recent assessment of the war in Ukraine.

The Russian military, which recently targeted Ukraine's capital city Kyiv with the deadly drones for the first time in 25 days on Friday, is using the drones to "offset the degradation of Russia's precision munition supply," the ISW said in the report.

The Kyiv City Military Administration reported no damage from the attacks.

Ukraine's military shot down 21 drones out of the 26 launched by Russia's military on April 20, and shot down eight of the 12 drones launched the following day, the Ukrainian General Staff reported.

Russia has also targeted Odesa, Poltava, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv oblasts in the attacks, which took place from April 19 to 21, the ISW reported.

The Shahed drone is also known as a "kamikaze" drone as it has a warhead packed with explosives on its nose, per the BBC, meaning it will detonate on impact.

Iran is becoming a global leader in the production of deadly and effective drones, the Guardian reported in February, despite the country previously denying involvement in Ukraine.

Iran's Shahed-136, and its smaller cousin, the Shahed-131, which Russia is also using, are loitering munitions that are a cross between a drone and a missile. According to Insider's Michael Peck the armaments have a camera in their nose and they orbit a target like a drone until an operator on the ground smashes them into tanks, howitzers, and bunkers just like a missile.

The recent drone delivery comes as Russia has used almost all of its strategic missile stockpile since September of last year, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Colonel Yuri Ihnat said, according to an ISW update earlier this week.

Ukrainian forces have shot down 750 of the 850 missiles that Russian forces have launched at Ukraine during this period, Ihnat said, adding that Russian troops have shifted to using less expensive and shorter-range systems, per the ISW.

According to the ISW's latest control of terrain estimate, Russia has claimed territory amounting to about 87.9% of Bakhmut — a city in eastern Ukraine that has seen some of the war's deadliest fighting — but Ukraine has said its forces will not abandon the seige.

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