Ukrainian Drone Strikes in Tatarstan Mark New Phase in Conflict

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.03 - 2024 10:53 AM CET

The recent strikes by Ukrainian drones on infrastructure in Tatarstan represent a turning point in the military campaign, according to ISW.

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The recent strikes by Ukrainian drones (UAV) on key military production and oil refining sites in Tatarstan, Russia, mark a critical turning point in Ukraine's military approach, as analyzed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). These attacks, carried out over 1,200 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, indicate Ukraine's strategic pivot to using tactics of asymmetric warfare, aiming to weaken the industries that are essential for the Russian military's operations.

The ISW report states that the April 2nd strikes are Ukraine's first direct action against the Republic of Tatarstan, showcasing a significant expansion in Ukraine's ability to carry out operations far into Russian territory.

This strategic move is seen as a deliberate attempt to interfere with the supply and production chains that fuel the Russian military, thereby expanding the conflict's reach beyond the areas directly adjacent to the border.

Impact on Russian Oil Refining Capabilities

The attack on TANECO, Russia's third-largest oil refinery, demonstrated the strategic thinking behind Ukraine's efforts to weaken Russian military support systems.

According to Reuters and the ISW report, the drone strike caused considerable damage to TANECO's main refining unit, resulting in a significant reduction of Russia's oil refining capabilities—by an estimated 14%.

ISW further reported that the occupiers used the production facilities of the Special Economic Zone "Alabuga", which was targeted three times, for the production of "Shahed-136/131" attack drones. These drones are deployed for attacks on Ukrainian territory.