Russia’s reliance on Iranian-made drones to attack Ukrainian targets exposes Moscow as “bankrupt” both politically and militarily, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday.
The use of Iranian weapons amounts to an admission of failure by the Kremlin, he added.
“They have spent billions of dollars on their own military-industrial complex for decades. And in the end they bowed to Tehran to secure very simple drones and missiles,” Zelenskyy said in a late-night video address.
Ukraine says Russia’s recent attacks on infrastructure have relied on Iran-made Shahed-136 “kamikaze” drones. Iran denies supplying unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia.
In his speech, Zelenskyy also thanked everyone who is helping Ukraine with air and missile defense. According to the President, the German “IRIS-T” has proven to be “a really effective system”.
“We are working with partners to further protect the Ukrainian skies,” added Zelenskyy.
Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on October 19th.
Russia announces evacuation from Kherson
The battle for Kherson will begin “in the near future,” a Russian-appointed official said late Tuesday.
Kirill Stremousov called on the population to leave the region immediately.
Kherson is one of four partially occupied Ukrainian regions that Russia “annexed” after referendums widely judged illegal.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin-appointed head of the region, Vladimir Saldo, announced the evacuation of civilians from four communities near the Dnipro River, citing the risk that Ukrainian shelling could damage a nearby dam.
Russian commander admits the situation is ‘tense’ for his troops
The new Russian military commander for operations in Ukraine said the Russian army is preparing to evacuate civilians from the Kherson region.
“The Russian army will primarily ensure the safe evacuation of the population,” General Sergey Surovikin told Russian state television.
Surovikin, who has been in office for ten days, added that the combat situation there is “very tense”.
“The enemy is not giving up on attempts to attack Russian troop positions,” he added, in a rare admission of the pressure his troops are feeling.
Germany sends more military support to Ukraine
The government announced on Tuesday that it had delivered five more armored recovery vehicles to Ukraine. That doubles the total amount sent from Germany.
Berlin also supplied seven bridge systems for crossing rivers.
In addition to more ammunition, Germany also sent winter clothing, power generators and first-aid kits.
US and allies request Iranian drone transfers to Russia at UN
The United States, Britain and France plan to raise alleged Iranian arms transfers to Russia at a closed UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, diplomats said, after Ukraine said Russia’s procurement of drones violated a resolution by the UN Security Council Council violated.
On condition of anonymity, the diplomats said the three – who also believe such transfers violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231 – had told their colleagues on the council they would ask a UN official to brief members on the issue .
Russia fired dozens of “kamikaze” drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), into Ukraine on Monday, hitting energy infrastructure and killing five people in the capital, Kyiv. Ukraine says they are Iran-made Shahed-136 attack drones.
More from the DW coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine
Suicide drones are said to have been used in an attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Tehran has denied supplying Moscow with the equipment. What do we know about drone imports?
After the rockets comes propaganda – pro-Russian voices have claimed that the wounded in Kyiv are just actors enacting their suffering. But a DW fact check shows that the victims are real.
dh/rt (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)