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Drones Target Southern Russia Oil Refineries

Afipsky Refinery

A fire erupted at an oil refinery in southern Russia’s Krasnodar region on Wednesday after a likely drone attack, its governor said as local officials reported a downed drone near another refinery.

Governor Venyamin Kondratyev wrote on Telegram that there were no casualties and the blaze at the Afipsky oil refinery had been put out after burning for a few hours.

The Afipsky refinery is located near the Ilsky oil refinery, which has been repeatedly attacked this month.

The Krasnodar region’s operational headquarters said Wednesday a drone had fallen and broke apart at the Ilsky refinery around the same time as the Afipsky refinery fire.

“The plant’s infrastructure was not damaged, there was no fire,” the operational headquarters said on Telegram, adding that there were no casualties.

It said the downed drone was later destroyed by a bomb disposal team.

Ukraine adheres to a policy of neither confirming nor denying its role in the attacks on Russian territory.

The Ilsky oil refinery was targeted by drones on Sunday, with local emergency officials saying they had all been destroyed by Russia’s air defense systems.

Earlier this month, a drone attack caused a fire on the Ilsky refinery. 

At the time, Reuters cited an unnamed source at the refinery saying a drone had hit an aerial cooler at the CDU-5 column with an annual capacity of 1.8 million metric tons.

The Ilsky refinery has a processing capacity of 6.6 million tons a year.

Oil refineries across Russia and Russian-annexed Crimea have been attacked by drones more than five times this month.

Crude oil is a key wartime resource, making oil facilities a top target for Ukraine and Russia as they attempt to degrade the other side’s capabilities.

The stepped up drone strikes on Russia come ahead of what is believed to be an imminent Ukrainian counteroffensive.

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