Friday, May 24, 2024

Russia says repelled Ukraine drone raid on energy infrastructure

Russia repelled a wave of attempted Ukrainian drone strikes on oil refineries and energy infrastructures in the southern Krasnodar Region on Saturday, the local governor said Saturday.

Air defenses foiled “an attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack” and intercepted more than ten drones over the Slavyansk, Kushevsk and Seversky districts, Veniamin Kondratyev wrote in a Telegram post on Saturday morning. There were no reports of casualties, he added.

The Russian military intercepted a total of 68 UAVs overnight, including two over the Crimean Peninsula, the Defense Ministry reported on Saturday morning.

An aerial strike damaged a distillation column at the Slavyansk-on-Kuban oil refinery, the head of the Slavyansk district, Roman Sinyagovsky, reported. The attack caused a fire which has since been extinguished, the official wrote in a Telegram post.

“There have been nine attacks in total on the tank farm and distillation column. Thanks to the built-in protection system, the tank farm hasn’t been damaged.”

The region’s operational headquarters later reported that a fire had also been extinguished at a separation unit at the crude processing facility.

Eyewitnesses told the SHOT Telegram channel that Ukrainian kamikaze drones had struck at around 4 a.m. Explosions reportedly lasted for more than 30 minutes as air defense and electronic warfare systems were activated.

The Slavyansk oil refinery in Krasnodar Region has already been targeted by Kiev’s forces. In March, it caught fire after a Ukrainian drone strike in which one person died from a suspected heart attack, local officials said.

Since January, Ukraine has launched a series of long-range drone attacks on Russian energy facilities, including oil depots and refineries.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has suggested the strikes are intended to impress Kiev’s Western supporters and compensate for a lack of progress on the front line.

US Vice President Kamala Harris privately told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to refrain from striking Russian oil refineries when they met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in February, the Washington Post wrote earlier this week.

The White House reportedly fears attacks on refineries inside Russia could raise global prices and provoke massive retaliation from Moscow.

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