Nato’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that the alliance would provide Ukraine with “hundreds of drone jammers” after Russia was accused of targeting its cities with Iranian kamikaze devices.
“Nato will deliver counter-drone equipment to Ukraine with hundreds of drone jammers which can help render ineffective Russian and Iranian-made drones,” said Mr Stoltenberg, during a press conference at the end of a two-day meeting of Nato defence ministers devoted to strengthening support for Ukraine.
Iran sent its first shipment of drones to Russia for use in Ukraine in August, the Washington Post reported at the time. Ukraine has used Turkish-made combat drones in its fight against Russia.
Ukrainian officials have said that Iran’s kamikaze drones, which explode on impact, had been shot down in the past weeks. They can carry a warhead of about 80 pounds and have blown up a US-supplied M777 howitzer, according to The New York Times. Both Russia and Iran have denied the use of such drones.
Ukrainian officials on Thursday said that Russian forces had attacked the Kyiv and Odesa regions with Iranian-made drones. Iranians in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine are training Russians how to use the Shahed-136 systems, which can conduct air-to-surface attacks, electronic warfare and targeting, the AP reported.
Mr Stoltenberg also said on Thursday that Nato had boosted its readiness on its eastern front with eight naval battle groups from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, which can “be scaled up quickly to brigade size.”
Mr Stoltenberg thanked Nato allies for their recent pledges to further support Ukraine, including the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (Nasams) from the US.
He said that Spain was the latest country to have pledged further military support with four Hawk missile launchers to strengthen Ukraine’s air defence.
Nato wants Ukraine to “be able to conduct meaningful operations throughout the winter”, said Mr Stoltenberg. To that end, the western military alliance will continue supplying “everything from fuel, winter clothing, tents, to advanced weapons systems air defence, armed vehicles and advanced artillery.”