Ukraine on high alert

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.14 - 2023 9:19 AM CET

Russian drone factory building 'Kamikaze' units

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Satellite imagery has revealed the construction of a factory in Russia dedicated to mass-producing Iranian kamikaze drones, according to Reuters, citing the Institute for Science and International Security.

This facility, expected to focus on the production of Iran's Shahed-136 drones, is raising concerns about intensified attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

The factory's construction, as shown in a satellite image from mid-September, aligns with leaked floor plans previously reported by the Washington Post.

The facility is not only geared towards manufacturing the Shahed-136 but also aims at enhancing Iran's manufacturing processes and expanding the drone's capabilities.

The satellite images also capture the establishment of additional structures and new security measures, including perimeters and checkpoints.

This indicates a ramp-up in the factory's operational readiness and security protocols.

No Sanctions on the Plant's Owner

Despite this significant development, the United States and its allies have not yet imposed sanctions on JSC Alabuga, the company owning the plant, or its affiliates.

This lack of sanctions raises questions about the international response to the escalation of drone production capabilities.

The report from the Institute for Science and International Security highlights a grim outlook for the coming months. With winter approaching, Russia is anticipated to escalate its Shahed-136 drone attacks on Ukraine, potentially leading to severe civilian hardships.

Call for Action from Washington

The report underscores the necessity of "overdue" sanctions against Alabuga and related entities, urging Washington to take decisive action.

This call for sanctions reflects the urgency to address the escalating threat posed by the mass production of Iranian drones in Russia.

The drone production facility is situated approximately 500 miles east of Moscow in the Republic of Tatarstan. The majority ownership of OJSC "Alabuga" lies with the federal government (66%), while the Republic of Tatarstan holds a 34% stake.