A senior Ukrainian security official has confirmed the killing of Iranian military advisors in Crimea, and warned against targeting any other Iranians on occupied Ukrainian territory in support of Moscow’s invasion.
Oleksey Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said the Iranians were present Crimea To help Russia fly the Shahed-136 armed drones provided by the government of Tehran, but did not say how many people were killed in Ukraine.
reports in Israeli press In October, he said, 10 were killed by Ukrainian military strikes in occupied Crimea. Danilov made it clear that any additional Iranian military presence would be targeted.
“You shouldn’t be where you shouldn’t be,” Danilov said in an interview in Kyiv. They were on our lands. We did not invite them here, and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation, we must kill them.”
Wave after wave of Russian air strikes, including drone and missile strikes, since October have targeted Ukraine’s civilian energy infrastructure, knocking out power as the winter cold begins to fall across the country. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council late Wednesday that the attacks were “a clear crime against humanity” and said Kyiv would introduce a resolution condemning “any form of energy terrorism”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday sought to shift the blame to Ukraine, saying it could “end all possible suffering of the civilian population” if it met “the demands of the Russian side”.
After initially denying the presence of Iranian drones in Ukraine, the Tehran government claimed that it had supplied Russia with a “small number” of the drones months earlier. Russian President Vladimir Putin He launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine in February. It denies sending Iranian trainers to help the Russians fly drones from the occupied territories.
Kyiv has He expressed doubts about Iran’s version of events, and experts from both countries met at Tehran’s request to discuss evidence collected by Ukraine.
“The Iranians keep insisting that they are not arms suppliers to the Russian Federation but we need confirmation. Do we have that confirmation even today? No, we don’t.” Danilov said. “We understand that this stuff just doesn’t fly without it [people] Learn how to play it, and the Russians don’t have the brains to figure it out on their own… In the modern world you can’t hide anything. It’s only a matter of time when it will be announced.”
He said it was not clear whether Iran had also delivered ballistic missiles to Russia.
“We are trying to answer that question and will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Danilov said. “But if that happens, it will tell us two things. First, Russia does not have the capacity to manufacture its own missiles, at least in numbers that would allow it to continue a full-scale war. Second, if a country under sanctions since 1979 had the capacity to produce such Weapons, so what kind of penalties are we talking about? So it raises a big question about enforcement.”
The papers on the conference table in Danilov’s office were covered with blank pages for security reasons, and sitting between them was a game of chess with only one black pawn. Asked about it, Danilov said it was a metaphor for a world where the old rules no longer apply.
“It shows that everyone is now starting to be black,” he said. “Or what is black can also be white, or perhaps gray.”
Ukraine’s relations with Israel are an example of a gray area. There is a long list of Israeli military equipment that the Kyiv government would like to acquire, but Israel has sought to avoid Moscow’s retaliation and has tried to portray itself as neutral.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s political return to elections this month complicates the picture further, as he has a warm relationship with Vladimir Putin, but Iran’s participation alongside Russia will also affect Israel’s calculations.
“Israel’s position on this war is known and understood,” Danilov said. “Again, I would like to point out that in the modern world you can’t hide anything, support or not have support. Are you pro-democracy or pro-authoritarian? Which side are you on?”
Danilov was speaking after the liberation of Kherson by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and rumors of raids across the Dnipro River into the southern part of the Kherson region leading to Crimea. He was cautious about the state of the southern front, but referred to previously reported operations behind Russian lines.
Our armed forces are there wherever they are needed. We have proven this more than once with our actions – when something explodes in the occupied territories, when something explodes, when things collapse, bridges fall, airports burn, and much more.
He shrugged off suggestions that the pace of the Ukrainian counteroffensive might be slowed by wintry weather, the physical barrier of the Dnipro River, or nervousness among Western allies that the potential loss of Crimea would prompt Putin to take desperate and disastrous measures. .
We must defend our country and liberate it from terrorists at any time of the year. “The season doesn’t matter,” Danilov said, adding that Dnipro was “just another hurdle we’ll get over,” and that “with modern equipment and modern weapons, it’s just a job to be done.”
He added: “Until our entire territory is liberated, our army cannot be stopped, and this includes Crimea and other regions.”
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