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Russian forces launched a missile attack on the city of Dnipro that injured at least 18 people on April 2, hours after drones reportedly targeted industrial sites, including drone-production facilities, in Russia’s Tatarstan region.

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Serhiy Lysak, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, said 12 people were hospitalized, including five children. He said he visited the children in the hospital, and they are expected to fully recover.

The attack damaged a school in Dnipro, which is about 500 kilometers southeast of Kyiv. The State Emergency Service said the attack destroyed a kindergarten, a college, and a business. A fire at the business was extinguished by rescuers.

The earlier drone attack against the Tatarstan region injured seven people, local officials said, in what appears to be the deepest such strike inside Russia.

“This morning, the republic’s industrial enterprises in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk were attacked by drones. There is no serious damage, the technological process of the enterprises was not disrupted,” Rustam Minnikhanov, the leader of Russia’s autonomous republic of Tatarstan, said in a post on his Telegram channel.

The Yelabuga district is designated as a special economic zone — called Alabuga — hosting more than 20 industrial enterprises, including chemical, mechanical engineering, and metal treatment factories. It is also reported to be producing drones.

Nizhnekamsk is home to a large oil refinery.

According to an analysis by Reuters of images showing the impact of the attack in Nizhnekamsk, a drone struck the primary oil refining unit (CDU-7) at Russia’s Taneco oil refinery, one of the country’s biggest.

The press service of Alabuga said that one of its dormitories was damaged in the attack and two people were wounded, Russian state-controlled media outlet RIA Novosti reported.

There has been no official claim of responsibility. The sites are more than 1,200 kilometers from the Ukraine-Russia border.

Ukrainian military expert Oleh Zhdanov said Ukraine was likely targeting a new drone production facility at the Alabuga site, predicting such deep strikes inside Russia could become more common given the capabilities of the drones now being produced by Kyiv.

WATCH: An unmanned aerial vehicle hit a military drone production facility in Russia’s Tatarstan region, some 1,200 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. The drone attack appears to be Kyiv’s deepest in Russia since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. A Russian oil refinery in Tatarstan was also reportedly hit in a drone strike.

“And now there is talk in open sources that it is quite possible that there will be drones [with a range] of up to 3,000 kilometers. Technology doesn’t stand still,” Zhdanov told RFE/RL’s Idel.Realities.

Sources inside the Ukrainian government told RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service that the attack on the Taneco oil refinery was a joint operation between the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) and Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU).

RBK media group had earlier cited sources as saying that the attack on the drone factory in Alabuga was organized by the HUR.

The Washington Post reported in August 2023, citing leaked documents, that Russia was establishing a production line in Tatarstan to build 6,000 attack drones by the summer of 2025.

The manufacturing plans entailed an expansion in the scale of production of a Russian version of Iranian Shahed drones, which would improve on “Iran’s dated manufacturing techniques.”

The documents revealed that the production facilities were at the Alabuga special economic zone, the same location as the suspected drone strike on April 2.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and The Kyiv Independent

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