Ruslan Pukhov, Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies and member of the Public Council to the Russian Ministry of Defense, asked the hosts not to focus on Iranian drones during a live taping of a program on news channel RBC. “This is a typical story – we all know that they’re Iranian, but the authorities aren’t acknowledging it.” In an interview with media outlet Podyom, Pukhov claimed that he “did not remember” saying that on air.
«I don't remember saying that, it must’ve been staged. Maybe it happened, or maybe it didn’t. I don't remember, unfortunately. It was a long time ago. My brain isn’t working too well after Covid,” he said.
The broadcast in question took place on October 19. The taping RBC website does not have the issue, but The Insider found it in its search engine cache.
Russia regularly bombards Ukraine with Iranian drones. Both Russia and Iran deny the supply of the UAVs – Ukraine has invited UN experts to prove their Iranian origin. However, Russia has started blackmailing the UN, threatening to pull out of the grain deal in case the organization's experts decide to examine the drones.
On October 20, the European Council agreed – in record time – to sanction Iran for supplying Russia with drones. “After 3 days of talks, EU ambassadors agreed on measures against entities supplying Iranian drones that hit Ukraine,” the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union tweeted. The sanctions include freezing the assets of three individuals and one legal entity responsible for delivering the drones. They will also apply to four Iranian organizations that have already appeared in the previous sanctions list. The sanctions will take effect on Thursday, October 20, after being published in the EU's official journal.