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The Russian Defense Ministry headquarters in Moscow on April 17, 2023. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian air defenses downed two Ukrainian drones over the republics of Mordovia and Tatarstan on the morning of April 17, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed.

According to the ministry, one drone was shot down over Tatarstan at about 8 a.m. local time and another one over neighboring Mordovia, some 700 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, at around 11:20 a.m.

Artem Zdunov, who heads the Mordovia Republic, said on Telegram that a drone targeted a facility in the region.

"Law enforcement authorities at the site are carrying out the necessary measures," he added.

Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency said that restrictions had been imposed on the departure and arrival of planes at the airports of Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Nizhnekamsk from around 7-8 a.m. local time "to ensure the safety of civilian aircraft."

Ukrainian officials usually do not comment on these statements. The Kyiv Independent is not able to independently verify claims made by Russian authorities.

Ukrainian forces struck with drones industrial facilities in Tatarstan's Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk on April 2, a source in Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) told the Kyiv Independent, which marked one of the deepest attacks on the Russian territory since the start of the full-scale war. Yelabuga lies some 1,300 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border.

The target reportedly was a manufacturing facility for the Shahed-type attack drones, which Russia regularly uses in attacks against Ukraine, including those targeting civilian and energy infrastructure.

In recent weeks and months, Russian authorities have reported an increasing number of drone strikes targeting Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, and Leningrad oblasts, as well as other regions.

How Ukraine hit a Russian drone factory 1,300 kilometers away
For the first time since the start of the full-scale invasion, Ukraine attacked facilities in Russia’s Tatarstan Republic, some 1,300 kilometers from the country’s border. On April 2, overnight, drones attacked production facilities in the cities of Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan Head Rustam M…
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