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Ukraine’s National Resistance Center: Russian teens to manufacture 10,000 Shahed drones annually

Shahed drone
The remnants of the Iranian made Shahed-136 one-way attack drone at the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise. Photo: Wikipedia
Ukraine’s National Resistance Center: Russian teens to manufacture 10,000 Shahed drones annually

Activists from the “Cyber Resistance” group have shared documents with the National Resistance Center, providing evidence of yet another audacious crime committed by Russia: the recruitment of underage civilians for weapon manufacturing.

These documents contain information about the names of parents and children, as well as the number of teenagers enrolled in education at the “Alabuga Polytech” educational cluster based at the Alabuga Special Economic Zone. Its primary task is to prepare future personnel for Alabuga enterprises.

Given that “Alabuga” has become a military facility, the actual mission of “Polytech” is to train employees for the Russian military-industrial complex, specifically for the production of Shahed drones.

In a recent investigation, activists of the “Cyber Resistance” released documents confirming that within the territory of the so-called special economic zone “Alabuga” in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia has localized the production of Shahed-136 combat drones daily launched on Ukraine’s cities and villages.

The document, which preceded the visit of Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov, who also serves as the head of the government commission on unmanned aerial systems development, states that the planned production capacity of Shahed drones is set at 10,000 units for 2024. To conceal the manufacture of the drones, it has been labeled as the Dolphin Project.

According to internal documents, nearly 1,300 students finish their studies at “Alabuga Polytech” each year. Due to cyber activists, the National Resistance Center has a database containing 1209 names and phone numbers of students enrolled in the 2023 intake. Most of these individuals are minors undergoing education and training from 9th to 11th grade.

Over 600 students have been assigned to projects of the Special Economic Zone of Industrial Production Type “Alabuga” and are attending classes in various educational fields, ranging from programming to theory of law.

More than 500 students have been allocated to a “boats” project called. “Motor boats” serve as a coded term for the production of Russian drones. Students are engaged in various fields, such as electrical installation, aeronavigation, industrial equipment, laboratory and chemical analysis, industrial robotics, numerical control programming, and many others.

A particular cynicism arises from the fact that among these children, the National Resistance Center has identified one child who was taken from the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine by Russian forces. The victim of Russian deportation was identified as he or she has a Ukrainian mobile phone number.

“It is another stark manifestation of the aggressor’s brazen cynicism, deliberately perpetrating genocide against Ukrainians and forcibly relocating Ukrainian children for assimilation within Russian territory. Even more appalling is the coerced involvement of Ukrainian minors by the aggressor in weapon manufacturing,” said the National Resistance Center.

It has called on all international organizations to condemn Russia’s latest crimes.

“The involvement of its own citizens – minors – in the production of drones which daily terrorize the peaceful population of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law.

This deliberate transformation of children into combatants and exposing them to danger is a grave breach, while the recruitment of Ukrainian children into this is a double crime of the aggressor, for which those responsible will be held accountable,” the National Resistance Center stressed.

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