Is Iran going to set up a kamikaze drone factory in Belarus?

An Iranian delegation in Belarus is studying the possibility of adapting local factories to produce kamikaze drones for Russia in order to solve the Kremlin’s transportation problems, Ukraine’s National Center of Resistance reported on Monday.

The objective of this strategic alliance between Iran and Belarus is clear: to strengthen Russia in its military offensive in Ukraine. A group of Iranian engineers is currently in Belarus evaluating the possibility of converting a plant in Gomel to produce the Shahed series drones, known for their effectiveness and lethality on the battlefield. Sources reveal that the Russian intelligence services have been key in organizing this collaboration.

The Russian logistics dilemma

Lack of logistics has been a problem for Russia in deploying its Iranian suicide drones in Ukraine. Transporting these drones from the Middle East has proven complicated and expensive. However, the production of drones in Belarus would solve this problem by allowing faster and cheaper access to these lethal devices.

The background of cooperation

It is not the first time that Belarus has become a center of cooperation between Russia and Iran in the field of drones. In the past, the National Center of Resistance of Ukraine has already denounced the presence of instructors from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran (IRGC) in the Gomel region, training Russian soldiers in handling these drones. 

In addition, such instructors have been reported to have coordinated strikes with Shahed-136 drones in Ukraine, resulting in considerable casualties and damage.

Is Iran going to set up a kamikaze drone factory in Belarus?
Shahed 136 Drone

Russia takes advantage of the superiority of Shahed drones.

In its military offensive in Ukraine, Russia has effectively used Iranian-made Shahed-136 suicide drones. These drones have been used to overwhelm Ukrainian air defenses and launch coordinated attacks along with artillery and missiles.

Despite attempts by Ukrainian forces to neutralize them, some of these drones have been shot down, demonstrating Ukraine’s resilience and determination to defend against this joint threat.

The Panorama in Ukraine

The situation in Ukraine is becoming more and more tense. The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region recently reported the downing of three Shahed-136 drones in the region. IRGC instructors also reportedly helped coordinate some Shahed-136 drone strikes against targets in Ukraine. More training was taking place in Crimea, and in October, ten Iranians were killed in a Ukrainian attack.

Cooperation between Iran, Belarus and Russia in manufacturing Shahed drones may have significant consequences in the armed conflict in Ukraine. While local production in Belarus would make transporting the drones to Russia easier, it could also increase the number of drones held by Russia and its allies.

 In addition, the involvement of Iranian instructors in training Russian soldiers in the use of Shahed drones shows the close collaboration between these states in the military field.