A Ukrainian “plane-type UAV” on Tuesday struck a Russian weapons plant that allegedly assembled drones, causing an incredible fireball after impact. 

“This morning, the republic’s industrial enterprises in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk were attacked by drones,” Rustam Minnikhanov, the leader of Russia’s autonomous Republic of Tatarstan, said in a post on his Telegram channel.

“There is no serious damage, the technological process of the enterprises was not disrupted,” Minnikhanov added. 

Video caught the moment when a plane-like UAV nosedived into a plant near Yelabuga in the Tatarstan region around 600 miles from Ukraine’s borders in Russia, causing a massive explosion. Russian sources say the drone struck a workers dormitory near the plant, with two or three drones striking the facility overall that wounded at least seven people, according to Radio Free Europe.

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No one has officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but Ukrainian outlets in Kyiv have claimed that the attack was organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), The Guardian reported. 

“When we take Kyiv then the mayhem with drones will end. In the meantime, we will continue to repel these despicable terrorist [attacks],” Andre Kartapolov, head of the defense committee in the Russian Duma, said. 

Yelabuga is part of the Alabuga economic zone in Russia, hosting over 20 industrial enterprises, including chemical and mechanical engineering, while Nizhnekamsk is home to a large oil refinery. 

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Ukraine has increasingly attacked Russian energy and industrial facilities to hurt the economy and limit supplies to the military, prompting the U.S. to ask that Kyiv stop targeting the Russian energy infrastructure, The Financial Times reported. 

Russian weapons explosion

Both Ukraine’s state security service SBU and its intelligence directorate GUR have increased strikes on land, sea and air targets, and the increasingly brazen strikes have “frustrated” the White House, one person told the FT, with concerns that Russia might retaliate against Western energy facilities. 

The Alabuga Special Economic Zone claimed that the drone had “equipment” from NATO countries, but provided no evidence.  

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“We do not encourage or enable attacks inside of Russia,” an NSC spokesperson told Fox News Digital of recent attacks. 

Production facility attack

The variable strikes are part of Ukraine’s evolving strategy against Russia after the much-touted ground counteroffensive failed to produce the dividends expected last year. 

Ukraine tried to turn the tide using targeted drone strikes against infrastructure and even several alleged assassinations of Russian personnel, including an alleged attempt to strike the Kremlin with a drone in May 2023. 

Instead, Ukraine found its greatest results in the navy, pushing back Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from the coast and forcing the boats eastward away from vital facilities. 

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