In Tatarstan, the Shahed drone assembly factory was attacked

In Tatarstan, the Shahed drone assembly factory was attacked
In Tatarstan, the Shahed drone assembly factory was attacked
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Ostorozhno Novosti / Reuters / Scanpix photo.

Russia on Tuesday reported two drone attacks on factories in Tatarstan, more than 1,100 km from Ukraine, and said the strikes injured at least 13 people.

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A defense source in Kyiv told AFP that the strikes were organized by Ukraine’s military intelligence agency.

It is indicated that one of the facilities is a factory near Yelabuga, where the Iranian-made kamikaze Shahed drones are assembled.

The source did not say where the attack came from. If the attack was carried out from territory controlled by Ukraine, it would be one of the most far-reaching drone strikes by Ukrainian forces since the full-scale war began in February 2022.

“Drone attacks were carried out against factories in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk,” regional leader Rustam Minichanov reported on the Telegram platform.

Tatarstan’s health ministry said on social media that “13 people, including students and two minors, were injured in the city of Yelabuga on the Kama River in the east of the republic.”

Earlier it was said that six people were injured.

Videos posted on social media show the drone, which looks like an airplane, explode and send a fireball into the sky after crashing into a two-story building in a business park outside the city.

R. Minichanov said that the attacks “did not cause significant damage and did not affect the work of the factories.”

Near Yelabuga is a special economic zone where chemical and mechanical engineering and metalworking factories are located.

The mayor of Nizhnekamsk said air defenses prevented an attempt to attack a gasoline refinery in his district, TASS reported. He said there was no damage or injuries.

The RIA Novosti agency reported that the drone hit the territory of the Taneco gasoline refinery belonging to the Russian oil industry company Tatneft.

Citing emergency services, she said the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes. The operation of the factory has not been interrupted.

Ukraine has claimed responsibility for several drone strikes on oil refineries deep inside Russian territory.

It says it is a legitimate response to Moscow’s attacks on its energy facilities, aimed at crippling Russia’s fuel sector, vital to its military and export earnings.

The FSB claims to have seized the explosives

At the time, the Russian Security Service (FSB) announced on Tuesday that it had seized tens of kilograms of explosives it said had been sent from Ukraine and hidden in Orthodox icons that were being transited through the European Union.

The cargo was seized after an inspection in the northwestern Pskov region, near the border with Latvia, the FSB said in a statement.

The FSB said it was “part of a cross-border shipment of explosives from Ukraine through the European Union”, adding that the cargo traveled through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

The seized cargo contained 70 kg of improvised explosive devices and explosive devices “hidden in icons and ready for use”.

The FSB said it had detained one person and added that it would seek to find all those involved, including foreigners, who would be brought to justice in Russia.

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