Ukrainian Drones Strike Russian Oil Facilities, Confirms Kyiv

Wed Apr 24 2024
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KYIV: In a strategic move to disrupt Russian military logistics, Ukrainian drones launched attacks on oil facilities in western Russia overnight, confirmed by defense sources in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Over recent weeks, Kyiv has escalated its aerial assaults on Russian energy facilities, aiming to weaken Moscow’s capacity to target Ukrainian cities or advance further into the industrial east.

Reports from officials in the western Russian regions of Smolensk and Lipetsk indicated that Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles ignited fires at energy sites. Smolensk regional governor Vasily Anokhin assured that the fires were contained, with no risk of spreading beyond the facilities. Images circulated showed responders tackling flames amidst billowing smoke, with no casualties reported.

A separate drone attack targeted the Lipetsk region, home to metallurgical and pharmaceutical sites, according to Governor Igor Artamonov. A Ukrainian defense sector source confirmed the involvement of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) drones in the assaults, although specifics about the Lipetsk attack were not disclosed.

However, the source mentioned the destruction of two oil depots in the Smolensk region, operated by the Russian state-controlled energy giant, Rosneft. These attacks targeted facilities storing 26,000 cubic meters of fuel, with intentions to persist in such actions.

While Russia has systematically targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure, Ukraine claims retaliatory strikes on Russian refineries and oil storage facilities, extending beyond border regions like Smolensk to areas hundreds of kilometers away.

Amidst these actions, British media reported US officials cautioning Ukraine against continuous strikes on Russian oil facilities, citing concerns over potential oil price increases during an election year—a significant issue for the US electorate.

In other developments, Ukrainian officials reported a Russian rocket fire on Kharkiv, resulting in six injuries. Similarly, in the eastern Donetsk region, which Russia claims as its own, six people were wounded by Russian fire in the past 24 hours.


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