Ukraine Says Air Force Destroyed Six ‘Kamizake’ Drones
Ukrainian forces destroyed seven air targets overnight including an attack helicopter, according to the country’s general staff, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on Facebook early on Saturday morning that the nation’s air force had destroyed the seven targets at midnight on October 14/15.
“Two are in the south of the country,” the Facebook post said. “The ‘Shahed-136’ kamikaze drone and an attack helicopter (type to be specified) were destroyed by anti-aircraft missile units of the Southern Air Command of the Air Force.”
“In the eastern direction, five more Iranian kamikaze drones ‘Shahed-136’ were destroyed by the forces and means of the East Air Command of the Air Force,” the general staff said.
The Shahed-136 is also known as the Iranian “suicide” drone and they have been supplied to Russia by Iran as Russian forces cope with a reduction in their cruise missile capacity. Many Russian missiles and drones have been destroyed by Ukrainian air defenses.
The general staff added the now familiar phrase “Glory to Ukraine!” as well as an emoji showing the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag.
The UK’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) also provided an update on the situation in Ukraine early on Saturday morning and said that contingents of Russian reservists had been deployed to Ukraine over the past two weeks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of his country’s armed forces on September 21 in an effort to call up around 300,000 reservists but the mobilization has been fraught with difficulties including apparently drunk and disobedient recruits.
“Their average level of personal equipment is almost certainly lower than the already poor provision of previously deployed troops,” the UK defense ministry said on Saturday.
The MOD said that many reservists “are likely required to purchase their own body armor, especially the modern 6B45 vest” and that the vest is “meant to be on general issue to combat units as part of the Ratnik personal equipment program.”
The ministry went on to say that the vest “has been selling on Russian online shopping sites for 40,000 rubles (approx. USD $640), up from around 12,000 rubles (approx. USD $190) in April.”
“In 2020, the Russian authorities announced that 300,000 sets of Ratnik body armor had been supplied to the Russian military, which was ample to equip the force currently deployed in Ukraine,” the MOD said.
“Endemic corruption and poor logistics remain one of the underlying causes of Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine,” the ministry added.
In more potentially good news for Ukraine, Saudi Arabia pledged $400 million in humanitarian aid to the country on Saturday with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman emphasizing “the Kingdom’s position of supporting everything that will contribute to de-escalation, and the Kingdom’s readiness to continue the efforts of mediation.”
Saudi Arabia has faced harsh criticism over a decision by the OPEC+ group of oil producing countries to cut production in a move that has been seen as favoring Russia and potentially boosting Russian revenues.
The decision was met with a furious reaction from Democrats in Washington, some of whom have suggested redirecting troops and equipment from the kingdom.
Newsweek has asked the Russian and Ukrainian governments for comment.