Ukrainian drone attacks target oil refinery and factory deep inside Russia

Ukraine has launched a series of drone strikes against targets in Russia more than 800 miles from the border, in some of its deepest attacks into Russia’s industrial heartland since the beginning of the war.

The Ukrainian drones targeted one of Russia’s largest oil refineries and a factory that produces Iranian-designed Shahed drones that have been used on the frontlines.

The attacks were the first in Tatarstan, an industrialised region south-east of Moscow, since the beginning of the war. The region’s head, Rustam Minnikhanov, confirmed there had been drone strikes “against enterprises in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk” and claimed there was no serious damage or disruption to industrial output.

Russia claimed to have intercepted a drone meant to strike Tatneft’s Taneco refinery, which has a production capacity of about 360,000 barrels of oil a day. Reuters reported that pictures indicated a drone hit the primary refining unit, CDU-7, at the Taneco refinery.

Ukraine has launched a series of attacks against Russian oil refineries in an attempt to strike at the Russian economy and limit supplies to its military. The scale of the attacks has forced Russia to cut petrol exports and, according to some media reports, led to the US asking Ukraine not to target Russian oil-refining capacity.

In Yelabuga, two drones appeared to target a facility established for the assembly of Shahed drones. Russia had recruited local students to help assemble the drones, according to independent Russian media reports.

Tatarstan’s health ministry said 13 students had been injured in the attack.

Video posted online showed a fixed-wing aircraft diving toward the factory grounds in Yelabuga and setting off a large explosion as it slammed into one of the buildings. Onlookers, including police officers, could be seen diving to the ground as debris was thrown in the air.

Journalists and online researchers have confirmed that the strikes appeared to have hit dormitories that previously housed the students at the factory site.

Media reports from Kyiv said Ukraine’s military intelligence agency was behind the strikes aimed at disrupting Russian drone production. A senior Russian lawmaker called the strikes “terrorist”.

When asked on Tuesday about Ukrainian drone strikes deep inside Russian territory, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said Washington had “neither supported nor enabled strikes by Ukraine outside its territory”.

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

The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia was “doing everything we can to minimise the impact” of Ukrainian drone strikes on its infrastructure.

Russia has also continued its attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and other targets, launching at least 190 strikes, including two “massive” strikes using drones, cruise and ballistic missiles, according to the Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu.

Russian drones targeted energy facilities in overnight raids on Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk and Kirovohrad regions, according to Ukrainian officials.

A new Ukrainian war damage claims system was formally launched at The Hague on Tuesday during a conference bringing together senior ministers and officials from Ukraine, the Netherlands and European institutions.

The register of damages for Ukraine will allow millions of Ukrainians to file claims for the loss and damage of property caused by Russia’s aggressive war. The initial launch is meant to allow Ukrainians to file claims for the loss or damage of residential property, and 300,000 to 600,000 claims are expected. The total number of claims could eventually reach 10m.

“This is the first material step that is being made,” the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, told reporters during the conference. “It’s extremely important that we met here today, not just to discuss how we will be bringing Russia to account but also launching a very specific procedure that every Ukrainian who has suffered can benefit from.”

The Dutch foreign minister, Hanke Bruins Slot, said the war had resulted in a “long and well-documented list of international crimes. Over 100,000 and counting. “That number not only underscores the gravity of this aggression, but also the need to support Ukraine,” she said. “Because if we don’t, the country’s justice system will eventually collapse under the weight of these atrocities.”