Volodymyr Zelensky claims Russia will use Iranian drones

According to the president of Ukraine, Russia is preparing a prolonged campaign of drone assaults to undermine Ukraine.

According to intelligence assessments Volodymyr Zelensky claimed to have obtained, Moscow will carry out the assaults using drones built in Iran called Shahed.

It follows a strike that Ukraine claims resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Russian soldiers in the Donbas region.

Russia acknowledged the strike claimed the lives of 63 of its soldiers, an extremely rare disclosure of casualties on the battlefield.

In his nightly presentation, Mr. Zelensky warned that Russia intended to “exhaust” Ukraine with a string of drone operations. He was speaking from Kyiv.

“We must ensure – and we will do everything for this – that this goal of terrorists fails like all the others,” he said. “Now is the time when everyone involved in the protection of the sky should be especially attentive.”

Russian drone attacks on Ukraine appear to have risen recently; over the past three nights, Moscow has launched attacks on cities and power plants all around the nation.

Reporters claim that in addition to placing a load on the military of Ukraine, which must detect and intercept the drones, the strikes have an unforgiving effect on the civilian population, which must deal with the uncertainty, anxiety, and disruption they cause throughout the nation.

Since several months ago, Russia has been attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, destroying power plants and leaving millions in the dark during the bitterly cold winter.

In the first days of 2023, according to Mr. Zelensky, Ukrainian air defences have already shot down more than 80 drones built in Iran.

In other news, Ukraine has acknowledged carrying out a strike in the occupied Donetsk region, which it had earlier claimed resulted in the deaths of 400 Russian soldiers.

Russian officials denied this number, claiming that just 63 soldiers were killed. Both claims have not been independently verified, and site access is limited.

Moscow rarely confirms any casualties on the battlefield.

However, according to governor Dmitry Azarov, some of those slain and hurt were from Russia’s southwest Samara region. Azarov advised relatives to get in touch with a hotline or regional military offices.

Tuesday, in the region’s two largest cities, Samara and Tolyatti, families lay wreaths in memory of the deceased.

READ MORE: ‘No-one will forgive you for terror’: Volodymyr Zelensky warns Russians about Vladimir Putin