Ukraine strikes Russian drone factory 1,300km from border

A building damaged during Ukraine’s drone attack on Tuesday. The drones hit the Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan, Russia © Ostorozhno Novosti/Handout/Reuters
Published April 3, 2024

A dozen people injured in attack, which also hit country’s third-largest oil refinery

Ukraine has carried out its longest-range drone strikes in Russia more than two years into Moscow’s full-scale war, injuring at least a dozen people in an attack on an industrial facility and a refinery more than 1,300km behind enemy lines.

The US has repeatedly warned Kyiv against such attacks, fearful of their impact on global oil prices and the potential for retaliation. Ambassador Julianne Smith on Tuesday told reporters: “In terms of actually going after targets inside Russia, that is something the United States is not particularly supportive of. We are focused on Ukrainians’ right to defend its territory and to push Russians out of its territory, where the Ukrainians have had considerable success.”

The Ukrainian drones hit the Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan earlier in the day. The area is home to a facility that produces Iranian-designed Shahed drones which Russia uses for attacks against Ukraine. At least 12 people were injured in an on-site dormitory for students, according to state newswire Tass.

Videos posted on social media showed one of the drones in Alabuga crashing into a building, followed by a fiery explosion.

Russia’s third-largest oil refinery in the nearby city of Nizhnekamsk was also damaged. A drone hit the refinery’s primary oil processing plant, causing a fire that emergency services put out in 20 minutes, according to state newswire RIA Novosti.



RELATED: Ukraine hits drone factory, oil refinery deep inside Russia

Oil storage tanks sit illuminated by electric light at the “TANECO” refining and petrochemical plant, operated by Tatneft OAO, in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, on July 30, 2015. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Published April 3, 2024

Ukraine targeted industrial facilities in Russia’s Tatarstan on April 2, around 1,300 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border, a source in Ukraine’s military intelligence agency (HUR) told the Kyiv Independent.

The targets included a manufacturing facility for Shahed-type attack drones, said the source, not authorized to talk to the press.

Russia‘s military has used Iranian-designed Shahed-type kamikaze drones to attack Ukraine’s cities and critical infrastructure regularly throughout the full-scale invasion, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.

Ukraine also used a long-range drone to target one of the country’s largest oil refineries, located in the city of Nizhnekamsk, a source in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told the Kyiv Independent.

The attack on the Nizhnekamsk oil refinery was a joint operation carried out by the SBU and HUR, the source said.



RELATED: Ukraine Packed A Cessna-Style Plane With Explosives, Added Remote Controls And Kamikaze’d It Into A Russian Drone Factory 600 Miles Away

A Ukrainian drone strikes the Alabuga factory.VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Published April 2, 2024

In a sharp escalation of its drone campaign targeting strategic industries deep inside Russia, Ukraine seems to have fitted Cessna-style light planes with remote controls, packed them with explosives and flown at least one of them more than 600 miles to strike a Russian factory in Yelabuga, 550 miles east of Moscow.

Ironically, the Russian factory produces—you guessed it—drones.

Russians on the ground recorded the shocking scene as the light plane dove onto the sprawling Alabuga Special Economic Zone industrial campus, where workers assemble Iranian-designed Shahed drones that, just like Ukraine’s DIY Cessna-style drone, can range as far 600 miles with an explosive payload.

The billowing fireball resulting from the drone’s impact—possibly on the Alabuga factory, possibly on an adjacent dormitory for factory workers—speaks to the size of the DIY drone’s explosive payload. A classic Cessna 172 can haul a half-ton load as far as 700 miles.




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