Ukraine flies aircraft packed with explosives into Russian drone factory

On Monday, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, who is involved in the country’s drone programme, said the country had recently developed its own drones that can fly more than 620 miles.

“Most of the drones that attacked Russian oil refineries have a range of 700-1,000km, but now there are models that can fly more than 1,000km,” he said.

However, this drone appears to have travelled even deeper into Russian territory. According to Ukrainian sources, it was a “new model” with a range at least 200km longer than the Lyutyi drones, which have a maximum reach of 1,000km.

Observers pointed out that it resembled an Aeroprakt A-22, a Ukrainian two-seater, high-wing ultra-light aircraft.

Sam Guichelaar, a pilot, flight instructor and flight operations manager, said: “Genuinely just looks like an Aeroprakt A-22 training aircraft, which may make sense if they launched it from within Russia – which seeing the distance from UA is logical.”

He suggested it had perhaps taken off from inside Russia, adding: “Much easier to convert an existing aircraft into a drone than to smuggle an entire massive drone into Russia.

“For the record: The A-22 cruises at around 110 knots. That means it would have been flying for at least six hours (shortest straight line route) over Russian territory, at a slow speed, without being noticed/shot down. I think it’s likelier it was launched closer to the target.”

Dmitry Peskov , the Kremlin spokesman, said: “The Kyiv regime continues its terrorist activity. Our military is working to minimise this threat and then completely eliminate it.”

The region’s health ministry said eight people were in hospital in a “mild to moderate condition” and that there was “no threat to their lives”.


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