Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Ukrainian Drones Now Attacking Russian Facilities in Non-Russian Regions

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 6 – Ukrainian drones have now hit targets in a dozen federal subjects of the Russian Federation. Most of these are predominantly ethnic Russian oblasts and krays but in at least two cases, Tatarstan and North Ossetia, this list includes non-Russian republics as well ( and

            That should not come as any surprise given that the Russian Federation’s military industries and bases are located in non-Russian as well as predominantly Russian regions and thus those located in non-Russian regions are entirely legitimate targets for the Ukrainian military in response to Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine.

            But for some, such attacks may seem to be in conflict with Kyiv’s efforts to reach out to the non-Russians within the Russian Federation as potential allies of Ukraine in the struggle against Russian imperialism. Paradoxically, however, these drone attacks may be helping that effort.

            That is because these attacks are against facilities hundreds of kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border and they highlight the reality that Moscow, all its claims to the contrary, is not able to defend these republics despite all the tax money it takes from non-Russian as well as Russian regions.

            Instead of making the non-Russians more loyal to Moscow, it may be having just the opposite effect. When Ukrainian drones hit military targets in Tatarstan earlier this year, for example, Rustam Minnikhanov, the republic head, said these attacks showed “no one will defend us besides ourselves” ( and

            To the extent that Ukrainian attacks on Russian facilities in the non-Russian republics spread, such attitudes are likely to spread as well. And that in turn will lead to outcomes precisely the opposite of the ones that the Kremlin has long believed it can count on in the event of an attack.

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