Iran has acknowledged for the first time that it supplied Russia with drones, insisting the transfer came before the war in Ukraine that enters its 255th day.

Activists in Ukraine have been protesting the use of Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136
Activists in Ukraine have been protesting the use of Iranian-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Shahed-136 (Reuters)

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has pledged "to take the toughest possible measures" to stop the use of Iranian weapons by Russia against Ukraine.

"The Iranian Foreign Minister publicly admitted that Tehran handed over combat drones to the Russian Federation allegedly a few months before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, Iran strongly denied the supply of weapons to Russia, which it uses in the war," Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said on Facebook.

He stressed, "the Iranian minister spread insinuations about the alleged refusal of the Ukrainian side to meet with Iranian experts under pressure from Western partners."

Ukraine injures pro-Russia judge in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian attackers shot and seriously injured a judge in an eastern Russian-controlled region of Ukraine who sentenced three foreigners to death in June, a pro-Moscow official has said.

Denis Pushilin, the administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine's Donetsk region, said Alexander Nikulin had been injured late on Friday in the town of Vuhlehirsk to the northeast of the city of Donetsk.

"The Ukrainian regime continues to display its vile terrorist methods," Pushilin wrote on Telegram. Doctors assessed Nikulin to be in a serious but stable condition, he added.

Power blackouts 

Ukraine's state electricity operator has announced blackouts in Kiev and seven other regions of the country in the aftermath of Russia's devastating strikes on energy infrastructure.

The move comes as Russian forces continue to pound Ukrainian cities and villages with missiles and drones, inflicting damage on power plants, water supplies and other civilian targets, in a grinding conflict that is nearing its nine-month mark.

Ukrenergo, the sole operator of Ukraine’s high-voltage transmission lines, said in an online statement that an emergency outage will be scheduled and could last an indefinite amount of time in the capital and the greater Kiev region, as well as several regions around it — Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Poltava and Kharkiv.

NATO, Türkiye agree on supporting Ukraine

NATO and Türkiye have agreed on the “importance of supporting Ukraine to end this war of aggression by Russia,” according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Stoltenberg, who arrived in Türkiye on a three-day visit on Thursday, praised Ankara’s role during the ongoing conflict.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Saturday, a day after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, he said: “I commended Erdogan and Türkiye for what they have done, both in providing support to Ukraine, but also in facilitating the deal enabling the export of grain from Ukraine.”

Ukraine claims its forces downed more Iran-made drones 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the fiercest fighting over the last week had taken place around Bakhmut and Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region about 500 km northeast of Kherson.

"We are holding our positions in these and a few other areas in the Donetsk region," he said in a video address, accusing Russia of insane stubbornness for sending "tens or hundreds of thousands more people to the meat grinder."

During the day Ukrainian forces had downed eight Iranian drones and two Russian missiles, Zelenskyy said.

For live updates from Friday (November 4), click here

Source: Reuters