Several Iranian advisers who assisted Russians in Crimea drone strikes against Ukraine have been killed. This is what Oleksij Danilov, chief executive of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, told the British newspaper The Guardian.
adbSource: The Guardian
In October, Israeli media reported that ten Iranian advisers had been killed in attacks by the Ukrainian army in Crimea. In a conversation with The Guardian on Thursday, Danilov confirmed that Iranians had been killed on the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia since 2014, but he did not say how many people were involved.
According to the head of the Ukrainian Security Council, the Iranian advisers were in Crimea to help the Russians control the drones provided by the Iranian government. Danilov made it clear that other Iranians could also become targets there. “You shouldn’t be where you shouldn’t be. They were on our territory. We didn’t invite them there, and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation, we must kill them,” Danilov said in the interview.
The United States National Security Council also reported last month that Iranian military personnel were in Crimea, helping Russia with Iranian drone strikes on Ukraine.
Since October, Ukrainian infrastructure has been hit hard by Russian airstrikes, both by drones and missiles. Initially, Tehran denied that Iranian drones were being used in Ukraine, but the Iranian government later admitted that it had supplied a small number of drones to Russia before the start of the war. Iran, however, denies sending trainers to help the Russians pilot the drones from occupied territory.
Ukraine is sceptical. “The Iranians continue to insist that they are not arms suppliers to the Russian Federation, but we need confirmation. Do we have this confirmation today? No,” said Danilov. “We understand that these things don’t fly without people learning how to fly them, and the Russians don’t have the brains to figure that out on their own. In the modern world you can’t hide anything. It is only a matter of time before it becomes public.” According to the head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, it is unclear whether Iran has supplied missiles in addition to drones.
Danilov also stressed that the Ukrainian army will not stop until “our entire territory is liberated”, “and that includes Crimea”. Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky also said in the British newspaper Financial Times on Thursday that he is sticking to his goal of liberating Crimea.