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Drones spotted over Tatarstan, where Russia assembles Shahed UAVs; airspace closed over Kazan – photo, video

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Drones spotted over Tatarstan, where Russia assembles Shahed UAVs; airspace closed over Kazan – photo, video

Drones have been spotted over the territory of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan. An air-raid warning has been issued, the airspace over the republic’s capital Kazan has been closed and the evacuation of employees of several businesses in the city is ongoing.

Source: Kremlin-aligned Russian news agencies RBC and RIA Novosti; Russian Telegram channels

Quote from RIA Novosti: „The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency reported that temporary restrictions on the arrival and takeoff of aircraft have been introduced at the airports of Kazan and Nizhnekamsk.“

Details: Propagandists did not specify the reason for this, however, Russian Telegram channels are publishing photos and videos of drones in the sky over Tatarstan.

На території суб’єкта РФ республіки Татарстан помітили безпілотники. Відео з російського Telegram-каналу Mash

— up (@up_pravda) May 31, 2024

It is reported that an air-raid warning had been issued in the capital of the republic.

Ще одне відео безпілотника над Татарстаном, РФ. Відео з російського Telegram-каналу Baza

— up (@up_pravda) May 31, 2024

Local residents reported that employees of several businesses had been evacuated.

People on videos say they saw at least two drones, allegedly „there was one explosion and the second [drone] is flying“.

The Telegram channels do not specify where exactly the drones were seen. But Russia manufactures Shahed kamikaze drones in Tatarstan. Russia’s Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan is located more than 200 km east of Kazan, near the cities of Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk.

Why this is important: In the summer of 2023, it was reported that several hundred students at Alabuga Polytechnic College in Tatarstan were involved in the assembly of Iranian Shahed drones.

The White House released a satellite image in June 2023 that showed the construction of a plant in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan to produce Iranian kamikaze drones which Russia is using to destroy civilian infrastructure facilities in Ukraine.

On 2 April, the authorities of the Russian Federation’s Tatarstan Republic reported a drone attack on company premises in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk, which resulted in an explosion and caused injuries. Earlier, it was reported that Shaheds were being assembled in Yelabuga. Ukrainska Pravda sources in Ukrainian intelligence have indicated that the attack was carried out by Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (DIU), which deployed large aeroplane-like drones. 

On 28 May, The Wall Street Journal reported that a plant in Russia’s Alabuga special economic zone in Tatarstan, which was attacked by Ukrainian drones in early April, was supposed to produce 6,000 Shahed attack drones annually; as of the end of April, it was ahead of schedule and had already delivered 4,500 UAVs to Russia.

Yelabuga is located 1,500 km from the Ukrainian border. Recently, Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, said that Ukraine had drones that could fly over 1,000 kilometres.

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