Ukraine updates: Drones show Moscow is 'militarily bankrupt'
Moscow, Oct 19: Russia's dependence on Iranian-made drones to attack Ukrainian targets exposes Moscow as "bankrupt" both politically and militarily, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Tuesday.
Using Iranian weaponry amounted to an acknowledgement of failure by the Kremlin, he added.
"For decades, they spent billions of dollars on their own military industrial complex. And in the end, they bowed down to Tehran in order to secure quite simple drones and missiles," Zelenskyy said in a nightly video address.
Ukraine says Russia's latest attacks on infrastructure have relied on Iranian-made Shahed-136 "kamikaze" drones. Iran denies supplying unmanned aerial vehicles to Russia.
In his address, Zelenskyy also thanked everyone who helps Ukraine with anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense. According to the president, the German "IRIS-T" has shown itself as "a really effective system."
"We are working with partners to provide even more protection to the Ukrainian sky," Zelenskyy added.
Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on October 19.
Russia urges evacuation from Kherson
The battle for the annexed region of Kherson will begin in the "near future," a Russian-installed official said late Tuesday.
Kirill Stremousov urged the population to leave the region immediately.
On Tuesday, the Kremlin-appointed head of the area, Vladimir Saldo, announced the evacuation of civilians of four communities near the Dnipro river, citing the risk that Ukrainian shelling could damage a nearby dam.
The Russian military commander for Ukraine operations also said that Russia's army is preparing to evacuate civilians from Kherson region.
"The Russian army will above all ensure the safe evacuation of the population" of Kherson, General Sergey Surovikin told Russian state television,
Surovikin, who has been in the job for the past 10 days, added the combat situation there was "very tense."
US and allies to raise Iranian drone transfers to Russia at UN
The United States, Britain and France plan to raise alleged Iranian arms transfers to Russia at a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, diplomats said, after Ukraine said Russia's having obtained drones violated a Council resolution.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the diplomats said the three - which also believe such transfers violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231 - told their Council counterparts they would ask a UN official to brief members on the issue.
Russia launched dozens of "kamikaze" drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Ukraine on Monday, hitting energy infrastructure and killing five people in the capital Kyiv. Ukraine says they are Iranian-made Shahed-136 attack drones.
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