Russian troops purposefully launched Shahed-136 Iranian kamikaze drones over Uman to attack Hasidic Jews who are currently celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the city, Babel.ua reported on Tuesday, citing sources in Ukraine’s special services.
Top drone story: @MarkRid89403375: ‘Why did the Russian Federation begin to actively use kamikaze drones “Shahed-136 aka Geranium-2” and began to use cruise missiles less often? ‘ pic.twitter.com/UkpAWjJCfx, see more https://t.co/DPa3E11G9g
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According to the Ukrainian report, over the past few days, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have shot down more than ten Shahed-136s in southern Ukraine. Some of these drones were launched from Russian-occupied Crimea and directed at Uman. The report suggested the Russians wanted to target Hasidic religious sites with large crowds. But does it really make sense that Russia would want to purposely target and kill a bunch of Hasidic and Israeli Jews?
The Shahed 136 is a single-use asset designed to use its cargo of explosives as a weapon, hence the name Kamikaze drones. Conceptually, the Shahed 136 is a hybrid between an unmanned aircraft and a cruise missile, and it’s cheaper than a cruise missile.
“Planned acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens are one of the conditions for Iran’s transfer of drones to Russia,” the special services said, adding, “As you know, this is not the first example of cooperation between two terrorist countries. Not so long ago, a Ukrainian civilian plane was shot down in Iran, apparently by mistake. But the interests of the Kremlin can be seen behind this case.”
Well, maybe, and maybe not.
It is true that on January 8, 2020, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, a Boeing 737-800, was shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, killing all 176 passengers and crew onboard. The shooting followed the January 3, 2020 assassination of Qasem Soleimani, leader of the IRGC. On January 8, 2020, the day of the downing of flight 752, the IRGC began Operation Martyr Soleimani, launching more than 12 ballistic missiles at US airbases in western and northern Iraq, in retaliation for the assassination.
The Russians for their part have been accusing the Ukrainians of using drones against their civilians. On September 21, TASS reported that a Ukrainian drone was downed near the city of Melitopol in the Zaporozhye region.