Russia is Now Using Iranian Suicide Drones Against Ukraine

Wes O'Donnell
3 min readSep 14, 2022
The Shahed-136 loitering munition. Similar to the US Switchblade drone that the US provided Ukraine. Public domain.

Back in July, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Iran was preparing to provide Russia with hundreds of drones, some capable of being armed with weapons.

By August, Russia has sent hundreds of Iranian drones to the front lines.

Now, it looks like we have our first direct evidence of Russian implementation of Iranian-made drones in Ukraine.

According to US intelligence, the drones are the Shahed 171, the Shahed 129, and the 191.

The 191 is a large Delta-wing-shaped drone, and the Shahed 129 looks like the US Predator drone — essentially a small plane.

The Ukrainians released information yesterday that they had shot down what appears to be a Shahed-136 — a loitering munition or suicide drone akin to the Switchblade drone that the US provided to Ukraine at the start of the war.

Detailed information about the drone is sparse.

But Iran claims a speed of 185 km/hour and a range of 2500 km!



Wes O'Donnell

US Army & US Air Force Veteran | Global Security guy at War is Boring, GEN, OneZero | Intel Forecaster | Law Student | TEDx Speaker | +Democracy | +Human Rights