Construction progresses at Russian plant for Iranian drones - report

i24NEWS and agencies
3 min read
People demonstrate outside the Iranian embassy in Ukraine on October 17, 2022 in Kyiv, after the city was hit by swarms of kamikaze drones sold by Iran to Russia.
Sergei CHUZAVKOV / AFPPeople demonstrate outside the Iranian embassy in Ukraine on October 17, 2022 in Kyiv, after the city was hit by swarms of kamikaze drones sold by Iran to Russia.

Moscow is anticipated to use the 'Shahad' UAVs in its attacks on Ukraine's energy facilities in winter

Satellite imagery shows progress in the construction in Russia of a plant that will mass produce Iranian-designed kamikaze drones that Moscow is expected to target against Ukrainian energy facilities, a the Institute for Science and International Security said on Monday.

Despite the headway, neither the United States nor its allies have imposed sanctions on the plant's owner, JSC Alabuga, or its associated companies, stated the report.

Israeli president  Isaac Herzog Spokesperson office
Israeli president Isaac Herzog Spokesperson office“Shahad-136” Drones.

According to the report, a mid-September satellite image showed that new construction at the plant "directly" correlated with a leaked building floor plan that The Washington Post shared with the institute earlier this year.

The building, according to other leaked documents, will be used for the mass production of Iran's Shahed-136 that will include improving Iranian fabrication processes "and ultimately advancing the drone's capabilities," the report said.

The satellite image also showed the construction of other structures and new security perimeters with checkpoints, the report said.

"With winter fast approaching ... Russia can be expected to accelerate its Shahed-136 attacks against Ukraine's vital energy infrastructure, causing brutal living conditions for the civilian population," the report said. "A key overdue step" is for Washington to sanction Alabuga and its associated companies.

Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP
Brendan Smialowski/Pool via APUkraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky waits to greet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy on Sunday warned his country to prepare for Russian strikes on energy infrastructure. Last winter - about 10 months into its invasion - Russia unleashed waves of such attacks, prompting rolling blackouts.

The plant is located 800 km east of Moscow in the Tatarstan Republic. Alabuga JSC is 66 percent owned by the federal government and 34 percent by the republic, the report said.

The White House in June said Russia and Iran appeared to be deepening their defense cooperation and that in addition to supplying drones, Tehran was working with Moscow to produce Iranian drones in Alabuga. Earlier in October, Russia's FM Sergey Lavrov met with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran.

HANDOUT / RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFPRussian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran.

"In a traditionally trusting atmosphere, current aspects of the bilateral agenda were substantively discussed with an emphasis on further building up the entire complex of multifaceted Russian-Iranian partnership," stated Lavrov.

This article received 1 comments