Russian Factory Observed Producing Shahed Drones
Iranian Designed Kamikaze Drones To Target Ukraine
A recent report from the Institute for Science and International Security has revealed significant progress in the construction of a plant in Russia that will mass-produce Iranian-designed kamikaze drones. These drones are expected to be targeted against Ukrainian energy facilities, raising concerns about potential disruptions to the country's energy infrastructure.
According to the report, satellite imagery from mid-September clearly shows the new construction at the plant aligning with a leaked building floor plan previously shared with the institute by the Washington Post. The leaked documents indicate that the building will be utilized for the mass production of Iran's Shahed-136 drones, with a focus on improving fabrication processes and advancing the capabilities of the drones.
In addition to the main building, the satellite images also reveal the construction of other structures and new security perimeters with checkpoints. This suggests that the plant is being fortified to protect the production of these kamikaze drones.
The report further highlights the urgency of addressing this issue, as winter approaches and Russia is expected to accelerate its attacks on Ukraine's vital energy infrastructure using the Shahed-136 drones. The consequences of such attacks could result in brutal living conditions for the civilian population.
Despite the alarming developments, the report points out that neither the United States nor its allies have imposed sanctions on the owner of the plant, JSC Alabuga, or its associated companies. The lack of action raises concerns about the international response to this potential threat.
Efforts to obtain comments from the White House, the Russian embassy, and Iran's U.N. mission have been unsuccessful so far.
In response to the report, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged his country to prepare for Russian strikes on energy infrastructure. Last winter, Russia launched waves of attacks on Ukraine's energy facilities, leading to rolling blackouts.
The plant is located in the Tartarstan Republic, approximately 500 miles east of Moscow. JSC Alabuga currently holds a 66% ownership stake in the facility.
The report concludes by emphasizing the importance of imposing sanctions on Alabuga and its associated companies as a necessary step to address this growing threat. It remains to be seen how the international community will respond to these developments and ensure the security of Ukraine's energy infrastructure in the face of potential kamikaze drone attacks.