According to US officials, Russian cargo planes have picked up the first Iranian combat drones for deployment in Ukraine – a move that underscores the deepening of ties between Moscow and Tehran while also highlighting Russia’s difficulties in resupplying its overstretched military.

Transport planes took off from Iran on Aug. 19, according to The Washington Post, carrying at least two types of unmanned aerial vehicles, both of which can carry ammunition for attacks on radar installations, artillery and other military targets, U.S. and other intelligence agencies have learned.

But although the weapons could significantly boost Russia’s war effort against Ukraine, the transfer has been hampered by technical problems, security officials from the United States and an allied government said in interviews. According to the officials, the Iranian drones failed several times during the first tests by the Russians.

Germany and France are jointly speaking out against a far-reaching entry ban for Russian citizens in the EU. “We should think about clever ways to use the important lever of issuing visas,” says a position paper sent to the other member states for the meeting of foreign ministers this Tuesday and Wednesday in Prague. Applications from Russian nationals should be carefully scrutinized for possible security risks. At the same time, one should not underestimate the impact of direct experience of life in democracies. This applies in particular to future generations.

“Our visa policy should reflect this and continue to enable interpersonal contacts with Russian nationals in the EU who are not connected to the Russian government,” says the paper, which is available to the German Press Agency. They therefore want to maintain a legal framework that allows students, artists, scientists and specialists in particular to enter the EU – regardless of whether they could face political persecution.

According to the Southern Group of the Ukrainian Army, Russia has suffered heavy casualties in southern Ukraine. Accordingly, 82 soldiers were killed and 30 units of equipment, including tanks, howitzers and missile systems, were destroyed. In addition, Ukrainian troops destroyed three ammunition depots and a temporary bridge. This information could not be verified independently.

The CDU member of the Bundestag Jens Lehmann has called for the expulsion of the outgoing Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrii Melnyk. On his Instagram channel, he wrote that he was tired of Melynk “constantly complaining about Germany, uninviting politicians and sometimes insulting them”. According to Lehmann, Germany would be very supportive of Ukraine. Melnyk then took a tweet: “That’s what I call ‘real solidarity’ with Ukraine in the middle of Russia’s barbaric war,” he wrote. “Well. Is there anything else?

That will be important on Tuesday

The EU defense ministers want to discuss the war in Ukraine and further support for the country’s armed forces at an informal meeting in Prague on Tuesday. It should also be about investment gaps in the EU in the defense sector. The EU foreign ministers also begin a meeting on Tuesday in the Czech capital. The war and possible entry restrictions for Russians in the EU are on the agenda for Wednesday.