Military components swapped for Iranian drones ‘will undermine global security’, London estimates Russian losses at 100,000 troops
Britain warned on Tuesday that Russia is preparing to supply Iran with advanced military technology that will threaten the security of the Middle East and the world. According to British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, Moscow will supply military components to Tehran in exchange for Iranian attack drones that Russia used in its invasion of Ukraine.
Addressing the House of Commons, Mr Wallace said Iran must be held accountable for supporting Russia’s invasion of its neighbour. “We need to hold those who support them accountable,” he said. “Iran has become one of the main military supporters of Russia. In return for providing more than 300 suicide bombers, Russia intends to supply it with advanced military components that will undermine the security of the Middle East and international security. We must condemn this agreement”. However, the minister did not specify what technology would be transferred to Iran.
In recent weeks, Russia has reportedly used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people as winter approaches. “We cannot sit idly by while Russia sends in these waves of drones to intensify its attack on innocent civilians,” Wallace said, adding that British “expertise and advice” is helping Ukraine coordinate its efforts. air defenses to intercept drone attacks .
“Our advice is helping Ukraine target incoming Russian-Iranian suicide drones,” he said, noting, however, “we always make sure our support is calibrated to avoid escalation.” Earlier this month, the United States said Russia was preparing to provide Iran with advanced military assistance, including air defense systems, helicopters and fighter jets.
Ben Wallace also painted a grim picture of how the war is going for Russia. According to him, around 100,000 Russian soldiers have been “dead, wounded or deserted” during the invasion. The minister did not give a figure for Ukrainian casualties, but the US military recently put the number of dead and wounded Ukrainian soldiers at around 100,000.
The losses and damages of the Russian army would be significant: “Russia has lost a significant number of generals and commanders (…) Russian capabilities have been seriously hampered by the destruction of more than 4,500 armored and protected vehicles, as well as more than more than 140 helicopters and planes,” Wallace said.