U.S. intelligence revealed on Friday that Iran is supplying Russia with ingredients for a drone manufacturing factory east of Moscow as the Kremlin seeks to secure a constant supply of armaments for its continuing invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. intelligence agencies anticipate that a facility in Russia’s Alabuga special economic zone would go live in the first quarter of 2019, according to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. The White House has also provided satellite data from April showing the industrial area it thinks the facility “will probably be built.” This location is several hundred kilometres east of Moscow.
In December, the administration of former President Joe Biden officially declared that it had reason to think that Tehran and Moscow were discussing the possibility of setting up a drone production line in Russia to be used in the conflict in Ukraine. The latest information indicates that work on the project in the Yelabuga district of Tatarstan has progressed beyond the planning stage.
Iran claims it supplied Russia with drones before to the conflict’s outbreak but has cut off all ties since then.
According to Kirby, U.S. authorities have also found that Iran is providing Russia with Iranian-made, one-way attack drones, which are subsequently utilised by Russian troops in their aggression against Ukraine. These drones are transported over the Caspian Sea from Amirabad, Iran, to Makhachkala, Russia.