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Ukrainian Drone Downed Deep Inside Russia’s Tatarstan

Russia on Thursday said it had downed a Ukrainian drone in its central Tatarstan region, hundreds of kilometers from the border between the two countries.

Kyiv has hit Russian territory with drones throughout Moscow’s military offensive, occasionally striking regions deep inside Russia.

Moscow’s defense ministry said it had “destroyed a drone over the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan.”

Tatarstan lies just west of the Ural mountains.

The mayor of the city of Yelabuga — some 1,100 kilometres (690 miles) from the Ukraine border — said air defense had worked over the industrial hub.

“There is no destruction on the ground,” Rustem Nuriyev wrote on Telegram, adding: “The situation in the city is under control, there are no threats.”

Social media footage also showed a drone approaching Nizhnekamsk, on the opposite bank of the Kama river from Yelabuga and home to a large oil refinery.

Both cities had been targeted by Ukrainian drone strikes in early April.

Russian aviation officials said the region’s main airport in Kazan — a city of 1.3 million people — had faced more than three hours of “restrictions” after the attack.

A smaller airport in Nizhnekamsk was also affected for more than two hours.

“The measures were introduced to ensure the safety of the flights,” a spokesman for aviation agency Rosaviatsia, Artem Korenyak, said on social media.

He said eight airplanes were grounded following the attack.

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