Revealed: Europe’s role in the making of Russia killer drones

Exclusive: Kyiv says Iranian drones used by Russia in Ukraine have various European components

The experts dismantling bombs for clues to Putin’s arms supply

Iranian kamikaze drones used in the latest attacks on Ukrainian cities are filled with European components, according to a secret document sent by Kyiv to its western allies in which it appeals for long-range missiles to attack production sites in Russia, Iran and Syria.

In a 47-page document submitted by Ukraine’s government to the G7 governments in August, it is claimed there were more than 600 raids on cities using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) containing western technology in the previous three months.

A pause in attacks that lasted from 17 November to 7 December was “likely due to the adaptation of drones designed for a warm climate to the Ukrainian winter”, and this “may indicate additional cooperation between Russia and Iran in the production and modernization of the Shahed-136/131”.

Deliveries of Shahed-136/131 UAVs from Iran to Russia take place across the Caspian Sea. “From Tehran, the drones are delivered to the Iranian port of Amirabad, from where they are shipped to the Russian port city of Makhachkala.”

The markings on the electronic components on drones used in Ukraine in recent months had been destroyed, “probably with the use of a laser”, and the Russian forces have started using the names Geranium-1 and Geranium-2 for the drones, which is “likely part of an agreement between Iran and Russia to conceal Iran’s role”.

In early July, a new Shahed-136 model marked “Y002” was shot down in Ukraine, which “may have been assembled at a new production facility in Russia”. The sample is said to have had a different wing moulding, which “may also indicate production at a new location”.

Russia and Iran are “already working on a new engine for the Shahed-136, which should provide better speed and range”.

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