Russian forces took Iranian instructors to the occupied Kherson and Crimea regions to launch Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, the Ukrainian National Resistance Center reported.
The Iranian nationals reportedly teach Russian forces on using and monitoring the launch of the drones, according to information published on the Ukrainian armed forces-run website on Wednesday.
The Iranians are based in the Russian-administered Ukrainian areas of Zalizniy Port, Hladivtsi in Kherson, and Dzhankoy in Crimea, the report said.
They “directly monitor the launch of drones on Ukrainian civilian targets, including strikes on Mykolaiv and Odesa,” it added.
“Iran helps the aggressor not only with equipment but also with people,” the report claimed.
Three drones operated by Russian forces attacked the small town of Makariv, west of Ukraine’s capital, early on Thursday with officials saying that critical infrastructure facilities were struck by what they said were Iran-made suicide drones.
Ukraine has reported a spate of Russian attacks with Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones in recent weeks. Iran denies supplying the drones to Russia, while the Kremlin has not commented.
On Thursday, France’s foreign ministry said that any sale of Iranian drones to Russia would be a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.
According to media reports, Iran has delivered hundreds of its drones to Russia despite warnings from Washington, a Kyiv ally.
Ukraine said that it would “significantly reduce” Iran’s diplomatic presence in retaliation to Tehran’s deliveries of drones to Moscow.
It removed the accreditation of the Iranian ambassador and said it is “significantly reducing” the Iranian embassy’s diplomatic staff.
Tehran said the decision was “based on unfounded information, relayed by foreign media propaganda” against Iran.
With AFP and Reuters