Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says Washington's failure to warn him of a key war leak is a 'bad story'


  • Zelensky urged the Iranian people to influence their government to stop supporting Russia
  • Russia first deployed Iranian-made Shahed drones in the war in Ukraine in October 2022
  • Iran has also reportedly shipped ammunition and artillery shells to Russia across the Caspian Sea

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday appealed to the Iranian people to stop supporting Russia amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

In a video address, Zelensky urged the Iranian people to influence decision-makers in their government to stop supplying Shahed drones to Russia, which are used to target Ukrainian civilians' homes, schools and hospitals.

"Today, given that such strikes are ongoing, I would like to appeal to the people of Iran directly. To everyone - to society, to Iranian ulama, to every Iranian family, to those people who are able to influence government decisions in Iran. A simple question: why do you want to be accomplices in Russian terror? Why are you on the side of the evil state? The world sees what is happening, and you all in Iran see it. Support for evil cannot be denied," he said.

"When an Iranian drone kills a pregnant Ukrainian girl and her husband in their home, why do you, mothers and fathers in Iran, need this? When your Shahed hits a dormitory with our students, people die, a fire starts, rescuers arrive, and in a few minutes a second Shahed hits, taking the lives of those who were saving the lives of others... Why does Iran need such cynical murders? Committed by Russia's hands, yet with your weapons. I am sure you must be on the other side of history - not with evil." Zelensky continued.

Russia has boosted its military cooperation with Iran since it launched its invasion of Ukraine last year. In October 2022, Russia deployed 28 Shahed drones to attack the capital city of Kyiv, killing four Ukrainian civilians.

Iran initially denied supplying Shahed drones to Russia. However, in November, it admitted providing drones to Moscow months before the war in Ukraine began.

In the months following Iran's admission, it used boats and a state-owned airline to smuggle more drones to Russia, The Guardian reported, citing sources inside the country.

Iran has also reportedly shipped at least one million rounds of ammunition and hundreds of thousands of artillery shells to Russia across the Caspian Sea.

Parts of an unmanned aerial vehicle, what Ukrainian authorities consider to be an Iranian made suicide drone Shahed-136 are seen at a site of Russian strike in Kharkiv