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Russia Downs Ukrainian Drone in Republic of Tatarstan

Russian air defense systems on Thursday shot down a Ukrainian drone flying over the republic of Tatarstan, more than 1,000 kilometers northeast of the country’s border with Ukraine.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said its anti-aircraft systems destroyed the drone at around 2:00 p.m. Moscow time, shortly after airports in the capital Kazan and the city of Nizhnekamsk introduced flight restrictions over threats of an attack.

Workers at two oil refineries and one polymer factory were briefly evacuated around the same time, according to the regional news outlet 7x7.

Mayor of the Tatarstan city of Yelabuga, Rustem Nuriyev, told the state-run news agency TASS that the drone had been downed somewhere over the Yelabuga district.

Nuriyev added that the attempted drone attack did not cause any damage.

A video shared on social media showed a single cloud of smoke — presumably the downed drone — over a wooded area, while car alarms and shouting could be heard in the background.

The city of Yelabuga houses an assembly site for Iranian-designed Shahed drones, which have been widely used by Russian forces in Moscow’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

The republic of Tatarstan has been repeatedly attacked by drones over the past two months, an indication that Ukraine has dramatically improved its ability to strike deep within Russian territory since the start of the war.

In early April, Alabuga and an oil refinery in Nizhnekamsk were struck, injuring several people and stirring panic among residents.

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