As the Ukraine war enters its second year, Iran has emerged as one of Russia’s top allies, with significant arms exports to Moscow. Ironically, a new video has surfaced on social media showing Ukrainian troops also using Iran-origin weapons.
In a video shared by the Twitter account ‘Ukraine Weapons Tracker’ that has been actively covering the war, Ukrainian troops could be seen preparing ammunition for their tanks.
According to claims, while there is nothing flashy about the video at first glance, a closer look reveals that Ukrainian soldiers are using Iranian ammo.
The tweet reads: “Ukrainian troops filming the preparation of tank ammo — nothing special at first glance, but the HE-FRAG projectile in the soldier’s hands is, in fact, Iranian 125mm OF19 which can be used with almost all Ukrainian tanks.”
It adds that the projectiles can be identified as Iranian by their traditional Iranian packaging, as observed with other types of ammunition made in that country. Further, they are easily distinguishable owing to their entirely black rear section and fins.
However, this is not the first time Ukraine has been spotted using Iran-manufactured munition. Last month, Ukraine’s army was allegedly seen using the Arash family’s brand-new “Grad” rockets produced in Iran in 2022.
At the time, no markings were found on the ammunition, but several military experts traced its origins to Iran.
#Ukraine: Ukrainian troops filming the preparation of tank ammo- nothing special at first glance, but the HE-FRAG projectile in the soldier's hands is, in fact, Iranian ?? 125mm OF19 which can be used with almost all Ukrainian tanks. pic.twitter.com/mBeHgoXCEJ
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) February 23, 2023
In September 2022, videos surfaced on the internet on two different occasions showing Iranian projectiles, including 122mm rounds and 152mm HE projectiles (for D-20 howitzers and 2S3 Akatsiya SPG). All the projectiles seen were known to have been manufactured in 2022.
#Ukraine: We obtained another video demonstrating ?? Iranian OF-462 122mm projectiles used by Ukrainian artillerymen – this time with much clearer markings, unequivocally identifying them as manufactured in Iran in 2022.https://t.co/3RXsgbN8VM pic.twitter.com/Z5GIELaDAk
— ?? Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) September 6, 2022
Against that backdrop, the latest video may not come as a surprise. However, authorities in Ukraine have not clarified how the country obtained Iranian-origin ammunition.
Indian Air Force Veteran and an ardent military watcher Squadron Leader Vijainder K. Thakur (retd) told EurAsian Times, “Soviet tanks do use 125mm guns so that the ammo would be compatible with both Russian as well as Ukrainian tank guns. It is possible that the Iranian ammo was supplied to Ukraine by Pakistan.”
Thakur added, “Pakistan has Russian-origin and other tanks with 125mm guns. It is known to have supplied ammunition to Ukraine. It could have procured the ammunition from Iran.”
However, several media reports have also suggested that Pakistan has been covertly supplying arms consignment to Kyiv, including ammunition for Kyiv’s tanks and howitzers. Pakistan, on its part, denies these claims.
According to some analysts, the ammunition could allegedly have been delivered to Ukraine by the United States. Last week, US and European officials said the US military was considering providing Ukraine with thousands of confiscated weapons and more than a million rounds of ammunition formerly destined for fighters in Yemen supplied and supported by Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported.
It is intriguing that both the warring sides have received military support from a common third country-Iran.
Iran’s Military Support For Russia
Russia has reportedly received several batches of Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 kamikaze drones from Iran, which it deployed extensively to obliterate Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
Latest reports indicate that Iran modified the drone, so the explosive warheads of these UAVs inflict maximum damage. The report stated that the warheads were hurriedly modified with layers of tiny metal particles that, upon contact, scatter across a wide radius.
Earlier this month, some unnamed sources revealed that Iran had smuggled new models of advanced long-range armed drones to Russia for use in conflict against Ukraine using boats and a state-owned commercial aircraft, The Guardian reported.
According to the report, at least 18 drones were given to Vladimir Putin’s fleet after Russian commanders and experts paid a special visit to Tehran in November, where they were shown the full gamut of Iranian technologies.
Further, there were speculations that officials from Iran and Russia were also working on setting up a drone manufacturing factory in Russia that would produce 6,000 drones. However, these claims and speculative media reports were rubbished by Tehran later.
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