Ukraine Strikes More Russian Oil Facilities in a Bid to Disrupt Military Logistics

Ukrainian drones struck two oil depots and a refinery across Russia in a 24-hour period, including one deep in Russian territory, officials on both sides said Thursday, as Kyiv presses a campaign aimed at hampering the country’s military operations and putting strain on its most important industry.

Radiy Khabirov, the head of Russia’s Bashkiria region, near Kazakhstan, said a drone hit the Neftekhim Salavat oil refinery, one of the country’s largest, around midday on Thursday, sending plumes of smoke into the sky. The facility is more than 700 miles from the Ukrainian border, in a sign that Ukraine is increasingly capable of striking further into Russia.

An official from Ukraine’s special services, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters, said Ukraine was behind the assault. The official said Ukraine was also responsible for two other drone strikes overnight that hit oil depots in Russia’s Krasnodar region, southeast of Ukraine.

The strikes follow some 20 similar attacks since the beginning of the year. Military analysts say they are an attempt by Ukraine to disrupt the Russian military’s logistical routes and combat operations by targeting the facilities that supply fuel for its tanks, ships and planes.

Ukrainian officials also hope the strikes can undermine the Russian energy complex, which is at the core of the country’s economy and war effort — accounting for about a third of Russia’s federal budget revenue — although it is too early to say whether they can have any serious impact.

The United States government has publicly urged Kyiv to stop its attacks on Russian oil refineries out of concern that they could affect global oil markets.

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