Panic as Drone Strikes a Record 800 Miles Inside Russia

Allison Quinn / The Daily Beast
Panic as Drone Strikes a Record 800 Miles Inside Russia Ukrainian soldiers of the 22nd Mechanised brigade prepare to start the Poseidon H10 Middle-range UAV near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. (photo: Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

ALSO SEE: Ukraine War Latest: Ukraine Hits Drone Factory, Oil Refinery Deep Inside Russia

A drone factory and Russia’s third-biggest oil refinery were reportedly hit in the early-morning attack in Tatarstan.

A factory deep inside Russia that was accused of assembling Iranian attack drones for use against Ukraine came under attack early Tuesday, injuring at least 12 people, according to local authorities.

Russia’s third-biggest oil refinery was also hit in the brazen, early-morning attack in Tatarstan, which is at least 800 miles from the frontline in Ukraine, the deepest of any attack in Russia since the war began.

While Kyiv has not officially taken credit, an unnamed source in Ukraine’s military was quoted telling Ukrainska Pravda and AFP that the attack was carried out by military intelligence using drones that resemble light aircraft. Footage purported to be of the attack in Yelabuga, in Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan captured the panic in what could be one of Ukraine’s most far-reaching drone strikes, if confirmed. In it, what looks like a small airplane can be seen careening toward a building as onlookers scream in horror, only to hit the ground moments later as the building is struck and goes up in flames.

Authorities in Tatarstan said the building was a dormitory housing students and local workers, claiming that two of those injured in Tuesday’s attack were only 17 years old. A source in Ukrainian intelligence, however, was quoted in Ukrainian media saying the facility struck was a factory assembling Iranian-made Shahed drones.

An unnamed Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters that Tatneft’s Taneco refinery was also hit in the attack, part of an effort by Kyiv to put a dent in Russia’s oil revenue. Russian authorities have played down the drone attack, however, saying production at the Taneco refinery was uninterrupted.

Tatarstan’s leader Rustam Minnikhanov, likewise, said in a statement on Telegram that “no serious damage” had been inflicted on the facility in Yelabuga.

“It is extremely important now to remain calm and not give in to the panic that those who committed this crime are deliberately trying to sow,” Minnikhanov wrote.

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