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Russia ‘likely to have exhausted’ Iranian kamikaze drone supply - UK

Russian military strength has been depleted by the loss of the Iranian drones  (Getty Images)
Russian military strength has been depleted by the loss of the Iranian drones (Getty Images)

Russia is likely to have exhausted its supply of Iranian 'kamikaze' drones that have been used to attack Ukraine, the British Ministry of Defence believe.

The government agency tweeted on Wednesday morning to say the uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been used hundreds of times since September.

Russia has largely used these weapons against tactical military targets and the Ukrainian electricity grid, the MoD said, and also aimed at medical facilities as targets of opportunity.

Officials said: “Russia likely conceived of the UAV campaign to make up for its severe shortage of cruise missiles, but the approach has had limited success. Most UAVs launched have been neutralised.”

The ministry said no one-way attack UAV strikes have been completed since November 17.

The statement added: “Russia has likely very nearly exhausted its current stock, but will probably seek resupply.

“Russia can probably procure UAVs from overseas more rapidly than it can manufacture new cruise missiles domestically.”

Britain also said on Wednesday that it would be sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has announced an escalation of support for Kyiv's resistance against Vladimir Putin.

On a trip to Norway, Mr Wallace said: "Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks."

It comes after prime minister Rishi Sunak used a visit to the Ukrainian capital to set out a new £50 million package of defence aid which included 125 anti-aircraft guns and equipment to counter Iranian-supplied drones.