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Oil depot catches fire in Russia after Ukrainian drone attack

Photo: Anatolli Stepanov Agence France-Presse Ukrainian soldiers operate a drone on July 12, 2023 in the Donetsk region.

Daria Andriievska – Agence France-Presse to kyiv

March 7, 2024

  • Europe

An oil depot in Russia's Kursk region, bordering Ukraine, was in flames on Wednesday following a Ukrainian drone attack, a type of operation that has become increasingly common after two years of war.

For its part, Kiev said it destroyed 38 of the 42 explosive drones launched by Russia during the night during an attack on around ten regions of Ukraine which left at least seven injured.

The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, in southern Russia, for the first time since October 2022.

For several months, part of Kiev's military strategy has consisted of attacking its adversary's rear lines, far from the front, a means of disrupting the logistics of the Russian army which supplies its troops with ammunition and fuel via the border regions. .

“A Ukrainian drone attack in the Zheleznogorskiy district today caused a fire in a fuel and lubricant depot,” the governor of the Russian Kursk region, Roman, said on Telegram on Wednesday Starovoit.

“A fuel tank is on fire, there are no casualties,” he added.

Videos published on social networks show at least one damaged tank from which imposing flames and black smoke are gushing.

A few minutes later, Mr. Starovoit claimed that a “second Ukrainian drone” “hit” the oil depot, assuring that again, the attack had “no casualties”.

According to the Russian agency TASS, the deposit belongs to the Varitchev mining group, which is part of the Metalloinvest steel company, founded by oligarch Alisher Ousmanov.

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42 drones over Ukraine

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on this attack, as usual, but claimed to have destroyed three Ukrainian drones during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, two in the Voronezh region and one in the Belgorod region, both borders of Ukraine.

These attacks did not cause any casualties, according to this source.

Since the start of the Russian assault in Ukraine in February 2022, Russian territory has been regularly hit by strikes attributed to Kiev which, in recent weeks, particularly target oil depots and refineries .

For its part, the Ukrainian Air Force claimed on Wednesday to have destroyed 38 drones out of 42 launched by Russia during a night attack on around ten regions of Ukraine, which at least seven injured.

“The occupying forces attacked with five S-300 guided missiles […] and 42 “Shahed” missiles,” the Air Force said, referring to the Iranian-made explosive drones used by Moscow.< /p>

The anti-aircraft defense downed 38 drones, the air force said, without mentioning the destruction of missiles.

A strike notably hit the town of Sumy where seven people were injured, including a 10-year-old boy, according to the Prosecutor General's Office.

A 70-year-old man was also killed during a bombing Wednesday morning on a village in the Kharkiv region, reported its governor Oleg Sinegubov.

Grossi in Russia

These attacks come the day after Kiev claimed the destruction of a Russian warship near the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Russian forces, who have gained ground in recent weeks in Donbass, target regions and towns in Ukraine far from the front almost daily in attacks with explosive drones and guided missiles.

On the ground, the Ukrainian army headquarters released a video showing recently built fortified trenches, “on the second line of defense” in the Avdiïvka area, as if in response to recent comments on the weakness of Ukrainian defense lines, or even their absence in places.

These criticisms appeared after the rapid advance of Moscow's forces to the west of Avdiïvka, in the wake of the fall of this town in mid-February after four months of harsh Russian assaults.

At the same time, IAEA Director Rafael Grossi is in the seaside resort of Sochi in Russia on Wednesday to speak with Vladimir Putin and Alexei Likhachev, the head of the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom.

Mr. Grossi warned Russia against any hasty restart of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, occupied by Moscow's forces in southern Ukraine.

At the end of February, the Russian president brandished a “real threat” of nuclear war in the event of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116