Russia’s use of Iranian weapons shows “Putin’s army is hollow,” says former US general

Russia’s use of Iranian-made “kamikaze” drones to attack Ukraine shows its army lacks equipment and personnel, according to Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a former Commanding General for the US Army in Europe.


On Monday, Russia deployed Iranian-manufactured Shahed-136 drones to attack Kyiv, killing four people including a pregnant woman and her partner, according to Ukrainian officials.


“Mr. Putin’s army is hollow right now,” Hertling told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “They didn’t come into this hollow, but they’re hollow now, both from equipment and increasingly from a personnel standpoint. So much so that they have to go to other nations, Iran for the Shahed-136 drones and now missiles to replace a system that has just been depleted.”



Iran has denied supplying weapons to Russia, but evidence points to the contrary.

According to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russia has previously ordered 2,400 of the Shahed-136 drones from Iran. The drones are capable of carrying precision-guided missiles and have a payload of approximately 50 kilograms (110 pounds).

“The thing is, that is critically important, is the majority of missiles, rockets more than likely, that Russia will get from Iran will be unguided, they will continue to be terror weapons like Mr. Putin has already used against Ukrainian citizens,” Hertling said.

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