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Russia's use of Iranian drones not to significantly affect course of war – ISW

KYIV. Oct 7 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Russia’s use of Iranian-made drones is not generating asymmetric effects the way the Ukrainian use of U.S.-provided HIMARS systems has done and is unlikely to affect the course of the war significantly, according to the report of analysts of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) for October 6.

“Deputy chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, stated on October 6 that Russian forces have used a total of 86 Iranian Shahed-136 drones against Ukraine, 60% of which Ukrainian forces have already destroyed … Russian forces do not appear to be focusing these drones on asymmetric nodes near the battlefield. They have used many drones against civilian targets in rear areas, likely hoping to generate nonlinear effects through terror. Such efforts are not succeeding,” the report says.

Analysts also note that the Russian Federation has probably already used a "non-trivial percentage" of the delivered Shahed-136, if the statements of an anonymous representative of American intelligence at the end of August were true that Iran would probably supply Russia with "hundreds" of drones.

The report says that Ukrainian forces likely continued counteroffensive operations in northeastern Kharkiv region near Kupyansk and operations to threaten Russian positions along the Kreminna-Svatove road in western Luhansk Oblast on October 6. Russian troops are likely establishing defensive positions in upper Kherson region following the collapse of the Russian line in northeast Kherson.

In addition, Russian troops continued ground attacks in Donetsk region on October 6 and likely made incremental gains around Bakhmut. Russian forces continued to conduct routine artillery, air, and missile strikes west of Hulyaipole, and in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv regions on October 6.

“Local Russian officials appear to be frantically looking for ways to fund their mobilized units as the Kremlin increasingly expects local administrations to pay for the war effort from their own budgets. The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on October 6 that Russian forces began the forced mobilization of Ukrainian citizens in Russian-occupied Kreminna and Starobilsk, Luhansk region,” the ISW said.