Ukraine debunks Reuters: No Iranian missile shipments to Russia

In a startling turn of events, Ukrainian intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, refutes the widely accepted theory that Alexei Navalny’s death was orchestrated by Putin. Contrarily, he reports that Navalny passed away from a blood clot. But that’s not all – Budanov further disputes a story reported by Reuters. 

The website Obektivno.bg features a tweet containing a video where Kyrylo Budanov fervently denies Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to Russia. This statement was delivered in an interview with the TV channel ‘We Are Ukraine’ during the ‘Ukraine, Forum 2024’ event.

“There are none. None of this is true,” Budanov said in response to a question about the article about ballistic missiles supplied by Iran to Russia. Budanov said that several such missiles were delivered to Russia by North Korea. “However, this is also not true when it comes to large-scale applications,” concluded Budanov.

According to Reuters

According to sources who spoke to Reuters, it appears Iran has been dispatching numerous rounds of its surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Russia since early 2024. This move is part of a larger agreement to strengthen the ties between the two nations. 

Here’s what Reuters wrote on February 21: “Iran has provided Russia with a large number of powerful surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, six sources told Reuters, deepening the military cooperation between the two U.S.-sanctioned countries.”

Russia 'expects' Fateh-110 (180mi) and Zolfaghar (430mi) missiles
Photo credit: EurAsian Times

Around 400 missiles, many part of the Fateh-110 series, have been secured by Iran, according to several Iranian sources. The Zolfaghar, a short-range ballistic missile within this acquisition, boasts a striking range of between 300 and 700 kilometers, as per accounts from the World Agency. 

Contrarily, media reports claiming that Iran supplied Russia with such ballistic missiles intended for use in a full-scale Ukrainian conflict have been vehemently denied by Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations. 

About Navalny’s death

“I may disappoint you, but from what we know, he did die of a thrombus [blood clot – nb] that broke off.” In a dialogue with journalists, the leader of Ukrainian intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, commented on the topic of Navalny’s demise, reports UNIAN. The context of their conversation revolved around the unresolved cause of Navalny’s death. 

As per the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service’s official declaration, “Navalny felt poorly following a walk within the prison grounds and subsequently lost consciousness. Despite prompt efforts to resuscitate him, these attempts failed to yield positive outcomes. As of now, the exact cause of death remains determined.” It’s worth noting that, at the time of his death, Navalny, aged 47, was serving a 19-year sentence under exceptional regime conditions. 

Navalny’s sentences

Originally, Navalny received a suspended sentence on charges of embezzlement. However, in February 2021, this suspended sentence was converted into a more than two-and-half-year imprisonment. Subsequently, his organization was categorized as extremist and consequently, was shut down. 

March 2022 brought further challenges for Navalny when he was handed an additional nine-year prison service order after being convicted of embezzlement and contempt of court in a separate hearing. 

In August 2023, Navalny was slammed with another 19-year prison sentence on accounts of extremism. Toward the end of 2023, specifically in December, Navalny’s kin expressed concerns over losing contact with him for nearly three weeks. It was later revealed that he had been relocated to a prison in the Yamalo-Nenets Oblast.

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