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Russia reports drone attacks on industrial site over 1,000 km from Ukraine

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A Ukrainian drone strike on Russia’s central Tatarstan region – hundreds of miles from the countries’ shared border – wounded over a dozen people, health officials said Tuesday. 

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Kyiv has regularly hit Russian territory during Moscow’s Ukraine offensive but strikes this deep into the country are rare. 

The attack hit a building in a business park in the town of Yelabuga and targeted an oil refinery in Nizhnekamsk, both some 1,100 kilometres (690 miles) from the border.

“The Kyiv regime continues its terrorist activity,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday. “Our military is working to minimise this threat and then completely eliminate it.”

Two defence sources in Kyiv told AFP that Ukraine was behind the strikes, which they said hit a facility assembling Iranian-designed Shahed explosive drones.

Tatarstan head Rustam Minnikhanov said there was no serious damage and production was continuing.

The region’s health ministry said “13 people were wounded, including students and minors” in the strike on Yelabuga.

It said eight were hospitalised in a “mild to moderate condition” and that there was “no threat to their lives.”

Videos on social media showed an aircraft-style drone flying into a two-storey building at a business park outside the city before exploding, sending a fireball into the air.

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Kyiv did not say where the attack was launched from. If launched from Ukrainian territory, it would be one of the most far-reaching drone strikes carried out by Kyiv’s forces since the start of the fighting in February 2022. 

Kyiv has recently developed drones that can fly more than 1,000 kilometres, Ukraine’s Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who is involved in the country’s drone programme, told Germany’s Welt newspaper in an interview published Monday.

In the Russian city of Nizhnekamsk across the Kama river from Yelabuga, the RIA Novosti agency said a drone hit the site of the Taneco oil refinery, owned by Russian oil major Tatneft. 

Citing emergency services, it said a resulting fire was put out within 20 minutes and production was not halted. 

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

It says they are a legitimate retaliation to Moscow’s targeting of its energy facilities, and aim to cripple Russia’s fuel sector, vital for both its military and export earnings.


© France Médias Monde graphic studio

(AFP)

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