ISW: Russia relying on Iran for military, technological support in Ukraine

    REGION  30 March 2023 - 12:45

    Russia is relying on Iran for military and technological support in Ukraine and that some Iranian personnel are likely in Ukraine directly supporting Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. 

    Caliber.Az informs referring to the US-based Institute for the Study of War’s (ISW) report published on March 29.

    Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on March 29 to review strategic and long-term cooperation agreements that will likely intensify Russia and Iran’s bilateral security relationship. 

    Abdollahian stated that Russian and Iranian officials are in the final stage of signing a cooperation agreement. 

    Lavrov promoted Iran’s “Hormoz Peace Plan” for security in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and stated that the Kremlin demands an immediate return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

    Abdollahian and Lavrov likely discussed continued Russian efforts to procure Iranian weapon systems for use in Ukraine and a finalized agreement for Russia to provide Iran with Su-35 attack aircraft. 

    The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on March 29 that Iranian Pouya Air Transport resumed regular flights between Tehran and Moscow on March 13 likely to support weapons transfers. 

    The Ukrainian Resistance Center also reported that Iranian officials are planning to deliver Shahed-131 drones to Wagner Group personnel and that Wagner personnel have started training to operate the drones, although ISW has not observed confirmation that Wagner Group personnel have used Iranian-made drones in Ukraine. 

    Iran is likely attempting to solidify a bilateral security relationship with Russia in which the two are more equal partners and will likely increase weapons transfers to Russia in pursuit of this goal.

    Key Takeaways:

    - Wagner Group financier Yevgeny Prigozhin seized on the recent story of the sentencing of a Tula Oblast father for his 12-year-old daughter’s antiwar drawing to promote the Wagner Group’s reputation and ameliorate his own personal image.

    - Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov’s demonstrative response to an attack on a police station in Chechnya suggests that he may be concerned about the stability of his authoritarian rule.

    - Russian authorities arrested Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia) naval department head Colonel Sergey Volkov for corruption-related charges.

    - Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov stated on March 27 that Ukrainian forces may be planning to launch a counteroffensive in April or May depending on weather conditions.

    - Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Kupyansk-Svatove-Kreminna line.

    - Russian forces continued offensive operations in and around Bakhmut and along the Avdiivka-Donetsk City front.

    - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi visited the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) for the second time.

    - Russian occupation authorities continue to implement measures to integrate occupied territories into the Russian administrative and legal system.

    - The Belarusian Ministry of Defense (MoD) reported that planned activities are ongoing to call up those liable for military service for military training and to retrain reserve servicemen in military registration specialties.

    Caliber.Az

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