Ukraine calls for 'liquidation' of Iranian weapons factories as seven killed in Kherson

Kyiv has accused Tehran of planning to supply more weapons to Russia

The Ukrainian city of Kherson on December 24 after Russian shelling. AFP
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A top Ukrainian presidential aide has called for the "liquidation" of Iranian factories making drones and missiles amid concerns they are supplying Russia.

On Saturday, Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Iran "blatantly humiliates the institution of international sanctions", before calling for the destruction of Iranian weapons factories in response.

He has also called for the arrest of their suppliers.

Kyiv has accused Tehran of supplying 1700 Shahed-136 loitering munitions to Moscow, which it says have been used to hit targets in Ukraine since September. Iran denies the allegations.

Ukraine's espionage chief said in an interview released on Friday that Russia had already launched around 540 of the drones at military and energy targets in Ukraine.

On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned a Russian attack that killed at least seven people and injured 58 in Kherson city, which Kyiv's forces recaptured in November.

Despite Russia's retreat from the city, Kherson remains within reach of Moscow's weaponry and under constant threat.

"Kherson. In the morning, on Saturday, on the eve of Christmas, in the central part of the city," Mr Zelenskyy said on Telegram, publishing images of the attack and calling it "killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure".

"It is the real life of Ukraine. The world must see and understand what absolute evil we are fighting against," he said.

On Friday, the Kherson region was targeted by 74 Russian strikes, leaving five dead and 17 injured, according to regional authorities.

"While families in Europe, North America, and beyond prepare festive dinners, spare a thought for Ukraine which is fighting evil right now," Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

Much of Ukraine is struggling without heat or power after Moscow started targeting electricity and water systems nearly two months ago.

The UN's human rights chief said the campaign has inflicted "extreme hardship" on Ukrainians this winter.

Updated: December 24, 2022, 3:06 PM