The US think tank made the prediction in its latest report on the war in Ukraine, published on Thursday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Russia’s Iranian-made UAVs unlikely to affect course of war
The ISW said: “Russia’s use of Iranian-made drones is not generating asymmetric effects the way the Ukrainian use of US-provided HIMARS systems has done and is unlikely to affect the course of the war significantly.”
The US experts cited the deputy chief of the Main Operational Department of the Ukrainian General Staff, Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov, who stated on October 6 that “Russian forces have used a total of 86 Iranian Shahed-136 drones against Ukraine, 60% of which Ukrainian forces have already destroyed.”
In a previous assessment, the ISW reported that the Russian army did not appear to be focusing these drones on “asymmetric nodes near the battlefield.”
According to the think tank, Russian forces “have used many drones against civilian targets in rear areas, likely hoping to generate nonlinear effects through terror.”
“Such efforts are not succeeding,” the ISW said.
According to Ukrainian Air Force Command spokesperson Yuri Ignat, the Russian army "is increasingly using the Iranian-made drones to conserve its stock of high-precision missiles,” the US experts added.
The American think tank assessed that “Russian forces have likely used a non-trivial percentage of the Shahed-136 supply so far if the claims of an anonymous US intelligence official at the end of August were correct that Iran would likely provide ‘hundreds’ of drones to Russia.”
Russia hits Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia, Odesa regions with Iranian-made drones: report
Russia’s latest attack using Iranian kamikaze drones targeted Ukraine’s southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukrinform news agency reported on Friday.
It cited Zaporizhzhia regional governor Oleksandr Starukh, who said on Telegram early on Friday: “"Today, the occupiers employed unmanned aerial vehicles for the first time. Previously, they were Shahed-136 UAVs. That is why people in town heard no explosions that would be too loud."
Infrastructure targets in two districts of Zaporizhzhia have been destroyed, with one person believed to have been injured in the attack, Ukrinform said, adding that the information on the destruction was being further clarified.
The report comes after Russia on Thursday night attacked Ukraine’s southwestern Odesa region with nine Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, according to news outlets.
All of these UAVs were destroyed by Ukrainian air defence units, Ukrinform reported.
Russian forces ‘lack capacity to counterattack’ in southern Ukraine
Meanwhile, Canada’s military intelligence agency has said that Russian occupying forces in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region have been weakened by Ukrainian advances to a point where they are unable to strike back.
“Current Ukrainian gains are very likely durable," Canadian experts said on Twitter on Wednesday. "Due to attrition and severely limited re-supply options, Russian forces lack the capacity to stage a counter-attack.”
They added that “Russian forces have been pushed back more than 20 km” in some sectors of the front, northeast of Kherson City in recent days.
“Russian forces north of the Dnipro River are in an increasingly precarious position, and additional Ukrainian successes in the area in the coming weeks would not be surprising,” Canada’s military-intelligence agency concluded.
Friday is day 226 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Sources: PAP, understandingwar.org, ukrinform.net, Canadian Armed Forces