“Special Operation” .. Russia prepares to enact severe penalties against homosexuals

Iran admitted, for the first time, on Saturday, that it had sent drones to Russia, but stressed that it had provided it to its ally before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, confirming Kyiv’s accusations of Moscow of using Iranian-made drones to launch attacks against civilians and infrastructure.

“Russia provided us with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine,” the official Iranian news agency (IRNA) quoted Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying.

This is the first time that Tehran has talked about Moscow’s delivery of drones, while it has consistently denied these accusations made by Ukraine and its Western allies in recent weeks.

In the evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky replied, “They are lying even in their confession,” accusing Iranian leaders of disclosing fewer drones that were actually delivered.

“We shoot down at least 10 Iranian drones a day, and the Iranian regime says it did very little, even before the start of the comprehensive invasion of Ukraine,” he added.

Kyiv said about 400 Iranian drones have already been used against civilians in Ukraine, and that Moscow has ordered about 2,000 additional planes.

The Ukrainian president considered, “If Iran continues to lie about obvious matters, this means that the world will make more efforts to investigate terrorist cooperation between the Russian and Iranian regimes and what Russia pays to Iran in return for this cooperation.”

“For one of the terrorists or their accomplices to remain unpunished, this does not happen in the modern world,” he added.

“Tehran should realize that the consequences of complicity in the crimes of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine will outweigh the benefit (that Iran would gain) from its support for Russia,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nkolenko wrote on Facebook.

Abdollahian confirmed his readiness on Saturday to study any “evidence” provided by Kyiv that Russia used Iranian drones in the conflict.

Tehran’s confessions about Moscow’s delivery of drones indicate the rapprochement between Russia and Iran that began in recent months, in the face of Ukraine backed by the United States and the European Union, while China refuses to take sides directly with any party in the war.

Tehran denied again that it had supplied Russia with missiles, saying the accusations were “completely false.”

The Washington Post reported on October 16 that Iran was preparing to send missiles to Russia.

In response, the European Union and the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on three Iranian generals and an arms company accused of providing Russia with drones.

In September, Kyiv decided to significantly reduce diplomatic relations with Tehran over this issue

Additional rationing of electricity

In the face of the high demand for electricity on Saturday, the operating company announced that it had imposed “additional rationing… in the form of emergency outages.”

The restrictions affected several regions, including the capital, Kyiv, and electricity was already cut off for days to reduce the consumption of electricity by civilians.

Energy facilities have been badly damaged by several Russian strikes in recent weeks, raising residents’ fears of spending the winter without electricity and water.

On the ground, in the northeast of the country, Ukrainian military commander Roman Grychenko told AFP that “the situation is stable,” referring to “intermittent attacks by drones, artillery and Russian commandos” in the area recaptured by the Ukrainians in September.

“We are advancing at full speed in all directions,” he said, from the retaken village of Staritsya, three kilometers from the Russian border.

In the south, the Ukrainian presidency considered that “the Russian occupiers are trying to identify the identity of the residents who refuse to be evacuated” to the territories occupied by Moscow’s forces away from the front line and even to Russia itself.

For the first time, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday justified the evacuations, saying that “those currently living in Kherson should be removed from the most dangerous combat zones.”

Ukraine again denounced what it considered a “deportation” policy.

For its part, the Russian Defense Ministry announced, on Saturday, “the destruction of a radar station (used) for S-300 anti-aircraft missiles” and the interception of several American Hymars missiles in the Kherson region.

targeting a judge

In the east, the Russian occupation authorities announced on Saturday that a judge of the Supreme Court of the Donetsk Republic was wounded by a bullet on Friday, and he is “in serious condition.”

The Ministry of the Interior in this region annexed by Moscow in eastern Ukraine at the end of last September, did not reveal more details about how or the reasons for this attack.

The leader of pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region (east) Denis Pushlin said the judge “condemned Nazi war criminals”, a term the Kremlin used to refer to the Kyiv regime in order to justify its invasion of Ukraine.

In southeastern Ukraine, the Russian occupation authorities in Melitopol announced Saturday the restoration of the statue of the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, which was removed during the 2014 revolution.

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