Ukrainian drones and missiles strike Russian oil refineries

Ukraine continues to target Russia’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Emergency vehicles at the spot of a fire on the grounds of a fuel and energy complex in the town of Kstovo, about 450km east of Moscow, following a drone attack [Handout/Gleb Nikitin’s official Telegram account via AFP]Published On 12 Mar 202412 Mar 2024

Ukraine has launched a barrage of drone and missile strikes against Russia, igniting two oil refineries.

The overnight attacks, some of which reached deep into Russian territory, hit refineries in towns hundreds of miles apart in the Nizhny Novgorod and Oryol regions. No casualties were reported, according to regional officials.

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In Kstovo, a town located 828km (514 miles) from the Ukraine border in Nizhny Novgorod, a fuel and energy complex, reportedly owned by Lukoil – Russia’s largest privately-owned company – was attacked by drones, according to regional Governor Gleb Nikitin.

“The special services are working on the spot, using all the necessary force and means to localise the fire at one of the oil refining installations,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

A drone also smashed into a refinery in the town of Oryol, some 160km (99 miles) from the Ukraine border, according to Andrey Klychkov, governor of the Oryol region.

An emergency services official quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said a tank containing petroleum products caught fire.

At least 17 people from high-rise buildings near the site of the drone crash were reported to have been evacuated to a temporary accommodation centre.

Critical infrastructure strikes

Ukraine and Russia have often used drones to strike critical infrastructure, military installations and troop concentrations in their more than two-year war. Kyiv has concentrated fire on Russian refineries and energy facilities in recent months.

The latest overnight operation saw it launch at least 25 drones and seven missiles, targeting Moscow, Leningrad, Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk, Tula and Oryol, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said.

One drone flying towards Moscow was downed over the Ramensky district near the capital, said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin on Telegram.

Meanwhile, Russian forces bombed a five-storey residential building in the eastern city of Kupiansk in the Kharkiv region, according to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, destroying it and causing several fires.

The attack came after four people were injured in Russian attacks in Kharkiv on Monday, including a 70-year-old woman.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies