Over the past couple weeks, the Russian army has been actively using Iranian-manufactured Shahed-136 and Mohajer-6 drones to target Ukrainian cities, including Odesa, as well as non-military targets, killing hundreds of Ukrainians civilians in the process. With more than 200 Iranian drones set to arrive this month, along with thousands of munitions, The Jamestown Foundation hosted the online forum “Russia’s Iranian Drone Offensive Against Ukraine” to assess the implications of Moscow’s growing economic and military ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran for its war against Ukraine.
Jamestown hosted an excellent panel consisting of Jamestown Senior Fellow and drone expert Can Kasapoglu, former Ukrainian defense attache Major General (ret.) Volodymyr Havrylov, as well as former commander of US Supreme Allied Command, Europe, and Jamestown board member General (ret.) Philip Breedlove. Jamestown President Glen E. Howard offered introductory remarks and moderated the panel. Discussion focused on the technical capabilities of the drones being used in Ukraine, how they are shaping the battlefield, and what can be done to effectively counter these strikes.
Maj. Gen. Volodymyr Havrylov is the Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine. Prior to his appointment, in 2022, he was the defense attaché of Ukraine to the United States, the United Kingdom, and Romania. Prior to being appointed defence attaché to the US, in September 2015, he was the commandant of the Military Diplomatic Academy in Kyiv. Maj. Gen. Havrylov also participated in the peacekeeping operation in the Balkans in 1998 and the anti-terrorist operation against Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine in 2015. He was awarded the Order of California (2018) and the Legion of Merit (2019) in the US.
Dr. Can Kasapoglu is a non-resident senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the director of the defense program at the Turkish think-tank EDAM. Dr. Kasapoglu holds a PhD from the Turkish War College and an MSci degree from the Turkish Military Academy. As a EuroAsian Military Affairs Fellow, he extensively published at The Jamestown Foundation’s outlets. Previously Dr. Kasapoglu was an Eisenhower Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome and held a visiting research post at the NATO Cyber Center of Excellence in Tallinn. He held has held multiple posts at reputable think tanks, including FRS in France, SWP in Germany, and the BESA Center in Israel. Dr. Kasapoglu specializes in open-source defense intelligence and military policy.
Gen. (ret.) Philip M. Breedlove is a proven strategic planner, motivational leader and talented communicator. He is a highly decorated retired general of the US Air Force where he reached the highest levels of military leadership as one of six geographic combatant commanders and the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO.
During 39 years of service, General Breedlove served in a variety of demanding command and staff positions, leading large-scale, diverse global operations across two theaters of combat and earning a reputation as an inspirational leader focused on his people, their families and mission accomplishment. Leading a diverse political-military alliance, he was able to build consensus and form teams to accomplish complex tasks spanning multiple continents.
As the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the Commander of US European Command, he answered directly to NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, and to the President of the United States and Secretary of Defense. He led the most comprehensive and strategic structural and policy security changes in the alliance’s 70-year history. His diplomatic skills reassured allies, deterred potential aggressors and maintained alliance unity during the most dynamic and challenging period since its inception. He led the forces of 28 nations and multiple partners in ensuring the security of an alliance that accounts for more than half the world’s gross domestic product.