Explained | What are the kamikaze drones that Russia is allegedly using in the ongoing war?

The drones had been reportedly provided by Iran.

The drones had been reportedly provided by Iran.

The story to date: Ukraine has accused Russia of attacking Kyiv with a swarm of “kamikaze drones” for the second time inside a span of every week. “Each night time and each morning, the enemy terrorises the civilian inhabitants. Kamikaze drones and missiles are attacking all of Ukraine. A residential constructing was hit in Kyiv,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky mentioned on Telegram.

The assault comes barely just a few days after Kyiv and surrounding areas had been struck by kamikaze drones on October 13 in a collection of lethal assaults throughout Ukraine during which no less than 19 individuals had been killed and greater than 100 had been wounded. The drones had been reportedly made in Iran.

Early morning assaults on Kyiv have intensified up to now few weeks after a interval of lull. Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the strikes on Ukraine got here in response to Kyiv’s “terrorist” motion, together with an assault on a bridge to the Moscow-controlled Crimean Peninsula.

Yasuyoshi Chiba, a journalist with the information company AFP, photographed one of many drones because it approached Kyiv and its aftermath.


What occurred on October 17?

Air raid sirens had been sounded in Kyiv at round 6.35 a.m. native time, shortly earlier than the primary explosion hit. This was adopted by sirens throughout the nation.

Vitaliy Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv, mentioned {that a} complete of 28 drones flew in direction of Kyiv, out of which many had been shot down. “A complete of 5 explosions had been heard in Kyiv. One among them is in a residential constructing within the Shevchenkiv district,” Mayor Klitschko mentioned on Twitter.


The physique of an aged lady was recovered from the rubble of the residential constructing attacked in Kyiv on October 18, taking the variety of victims to 5.


“Up to now 13 hours, Ukrainian Military shot down 37 Iranian Shahed-136 drones and three cruise missiles launched by Russian terrorists,” the nation’s defence ministry said after Monday morning’s assault.

What are kamikaze drones?

Ukraine has accused Russia of utilizing Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones in assaults on each October 13 and October 17, 2022. Kamikaze drones, additionally referred to as suicide drones, are designed to detonate on contact with the goal. It’s a kind of loitering munition – an unmanned aerial car (UAV) that, because the title suggests, has the flexibility to “loiter” within the air for an prolonged time frame earlier than placing the goal.

Referred to as a “poor man’s cruise missile” by creator J. Michael Cole in 2012, kamikaze drones are low-cost and troublesome to intercept by air defence programs. Ukraine has been profitable in intercepting and taking pictures these drones utilizing anti-aircraft missiles, however Defence Categorical has identified that it is a sophisticated and dear operation.

The kamikaze drones utilized by Russia to assault Ukraine are believed to be Iranian-made Shahed-136s, rebranded as Geran-2 (or Geranium-2) by Russia.

Shahed-136s are 3.5 metres in size and have a wingspan of two.5 metres, weigh roughly 200 kg every, and have a spread of 1800-2500 km, in response to the Ukrainian publication Defence Categorical, which cites knowledge from Islamic World Information. These kamikaze drones have warheads hooked up to their nostril. The drones loiter over the goal till it’s clear after which nosedive, inflicting an explosion.

Russia has denied utilizing Iran-made drones, and Iran has denied supplying weaponry to Russia.

U.S. intelligence companies first claimed that Russia is serious about acquiring UAVs from Iran in July 2022. Mr. Putin also visited Iran in July – solely his second go to overseas because the nation invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

In August, Wall Street Journal reported that Iran is coaching Russian officers “to make use of its superior drones” in a bid to realize aerial benefit in warfare in opposition to Ukraine.

Origin of kamikaze assaults

Suicide assaults, or kamikaze assaults, originated in Japan in the course of the Pacific leg of World Battle II. The technique is believed to have been born out of sheer desperation among the many Japanese.

Though the Japanese armed forces had toyed with the concept of crashing their pilots into Allied warships and bases for just a few years, some officers had been initially against the concept. Rear Admiral Arima is believed to have launched himself right into a kamikaze assault in October 1944 on an American plane service within the Philippines, per the 1996 publication Air Power History.

In the identical month, the Empire of Japan formally launched the primary kamikaze assault in opposition to the Allied powers within the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Most kamikaze assaults had been carried out by bizarre fighters who crashed economical planes laden with explosives into enemy assets with the intention to trigger most injury. It is usually rumoured that these plane had been low on gasoline to forestall the pilots from returning or taking a last-minute detour.


The phrase kamikaze comes from Japanese and loosely interprets to “divine wind”, a reference to a 1281 typhoon that dispersed a Mongol invasion fleet threatening Japan.

Is Belarus complicit?

The Defence Categorical additionally reported that Iran-made suicide drones had been dropped at Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, is an ally of Russian President Putin and has beforehand been referred to as the “other aggressor” within the Russia-Ukraine warfare.

Drone and Russian navy weapons knowledgeable Samuel Bendett additionally identified that it’s attainable that the drones that attacked Kyiv on October 17 flew from Belarus.

What do specialists say?

Researchers on the Institute for the Examine of Battle mentioned that the October 17 drone assault is “in keeping with the broader sample of Russian forces prioritising creating psychological terror effects on Ukraine over reaching tangible battlefield results”.

Peter W. Singer, a strategist on the New America suppose tank, mentioned that the drone assaults on Kyiv are akin to German V-1 flying bomb raids on London throughout World Battle II.

(With inputs from companies)

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