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White House says Iran preparing to provide drones to Russia as war in Ukraine continues

WASHINGTON — Iran is believed to be providing several hundred unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to Russia, as the country’s invasion of Ukraine enters its fifth month, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday.

Iran is also preparing to train Russian forces on using the drones in its ongoing war against Ukraine, Sullivan said. But the top national security aide to President Biden also said it was unclear if Iran actually delivered the drones to Russia or had provided training to Russian troops.

Jake Sullivan
National security adviser Jake Sullivan speaking at the White House on Monday. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)

Sullivan’s revelation of new intelligence — which Biden, the U.S. and other Western democracies have used to great effect against Putin and Russia — comes as the war drags on and Russia continues to gain ground in Ukraine.

But Russia has fallen well short of its initial goal of invading and capturing Ukraine within only weeks of its launch at the end of February.

“When you take a step back and look at the trajectory of this conflict, what [Russian President] Vladimir Putin set out to do, he has failed to do,” Sullivan said.

Ukrainian servicemen
Ukrainian servicemen unload military equipment provided by the U.S. in February. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images)

Public support for U.S. involvement in defending Ukraine against the invasion was remarkably strong at the beginning of the year but has tailed off a bit as the war has continued and energy prices have ticked up — something the Biden administration has dubbed “Putin’s price hike."

Around 60% of Americans still support defending Ukraine even if it results in higher energy prices and increased inflation, according to a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll taken at the end of June.