Ukrainian forces strike drone factory 1,200km into Russian territory

Satellite picture of alleged drone factory in Alabuga Special Economic Zone (Maxar Technologies / U.S. government)

Ukrainian forces have carried out successful drone strikes, hitting targets deep within Russian territory.  

A strike was carried out on a factory complex in Alabuga, Tatarstan, which is situated more than 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) away from Ukrainian soil. An oil refinery complex located outside Nizhnekamsk in Tatarstan was also targeted. Preliminary reports indicate that the attacks resulted in casualties. 

Eyewitnesses in the area reported explosions in the Alabuga Special Economic Zone at around 6:00 local time. The strike reportedly hit a plant and a hostel suspected to be associated with the assembly of Shahed-136 suicide drones.  

In July 2023, a factory was established in Alabuga to manufacture the suicide drone made in Iran, which Russia had previously imported for use in its invasion of Ukraine. Shahed-136 drones have been employed by Russian forces, along with domestically manufactured ones, as well as cruise missiles and different types of artillery, to hit targets on the frontlines and deep within Ukraine, including civilian infrastructure. 

This marks one of the deepest drone strikes conducted by Ukrainian forces during the conflict. Videos of the attack shared on social media suggest that the Ukrainian forces have repurposed general aviation aircraft such as a Cessna 152 to carry out these long-distance attacks.  

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