Nuclear expert sounds alarm over ‘axis of evil’ in Ukraine war

Ukraine deploys 'kamikaze drones' to turn tables on Russian Army

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Iran has “always been a key member of the ‘axis of evil’” and is a “real problem” in the ongoing Ukraine war, Express.co.uk has been told, as evidence mounts over the Iranian supply of drones to Russia’s forces. Tehran denies furnishing the Kremlin with the “kamikaze” UAVS, or unmanned aerial vehicles, which are thought to be Shahed-136 drones operating under the name “Geran-2”.

The drones, named after the Japanese World War II pilots on suicide missions, are known for the low buzzing noise they emit, and their self-destruction upon detonation.

The UK and France have said the suspected supply of these Iranian-made explosive drones to Moscow, which have been implicated in attacks on Ukraine’s civilian and energy infrastructure, violates UN sanctions.

Earlier this week, the US State Department backed London and Paris’ assertion that the drones go against UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

The US state department said: “It is our belief that these UAVs that were transferred from Iran to Russia and used by Russia in Ukraine are among the weapons that would remain embargoed under 2231.”

There have also been reports that Tehran has sent military trainers to Crimea to train Russian operators to use the “kamikaze” drones.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin’s press secretary, has brushed off questions about the origins of the drones.

But as Belarus’ strongman leader, Alexander Lukashenko, continues with a joint military presence on the border with Ukraine, former UK and NATO commander of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear forces, Retd Col Hamish de Bretton-Gordon OBE, has warned that Tehran is “absolutely” more of a threat than Minsk.

He described a somewhat co-dependent relationship between Moscow and Tehran, pointing to the “sophisticated” drones hitting the headlines this week.

But there could be a nuclear element to the drones’ capability, the former British Army commander suggested.

He told Express.co.uk: “One of the most likely nuclear scenarios, I think, is an attack on power stations.

“We’ve seen quite a lot of that.

“But if they really wanted to create a fire and contamination, they could direct these drones inside the [nuclear] reactor, which conventional bombs and bullets can’t do.”

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Almost one third of Ukraine’s power stations have been destroyed by Russian attacks in just over a single week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this week.

Among the “kamikaze” drone targets are the capital, Kyiv, and the Sumy region near the Ukrainian border with Russia.

Ukrainian officials said on Saturday that a number of civilians were killed in a “kamikaze” drone and missile in the southern city of Zaporizhzhia.

The city, in a region “annexed” by Russia last month, is the site of Europe’s largest nuclear plant and has long been on the front line of fighting in the oblast.

Warfare in close proximity to the nuclear power station and its reactors has continued to alarm the international community for months.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also travelled to Washington on Tuesday, with speculation around the urgency of the visit focusing on the potentially nuclear component to the Ukraine war.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told Sky News that “there’s urgency because civilians are being targeted in a new way and so we have to respond to that”, referring to “kamikaze” strikes on infrastucture and energy supplies.

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