Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council, stated that Iranians were present in Crimea to help Russia pilot the Shahed-136 armed drones supplied by the Tehran government, but did not say how many Ukraine had killed.
“You shouldn’t be where you shouldn’t be,” Danilov said, in an interview in Kyiv.
“They were on our territory. We didn’t invite them here, and if they collaborate with terrorists and participate in the destruction of our nation we must kill them,” he added.
After initially denying the presence of Iranian drones in Ukraine, the Tehran government has claimed that it had supplied a “small number” of the unmanned aircraft to Russia months before Vladimir Putin launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine in February. It denies sending Iranian trainers to help Russians fly the drones from occupied territory.
Kyiv has expressed scepticism about Iran’s version of events, and experts from both countries have met at Tehran’s request to discuss evidence collected by Ukraine.
“The Iranians keep insisting that they are not suppliers of weapons to the Russian Federation but we need confirmation. Do we have this confirmation as of today? No we don’t.” Danilov said.