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Ukraine Attack Drones Strike Russia Energy Sites

An oil refinery in the Smolensk region's Yartsevo district was reportedly struck. Astra / Telegram

Ukraine launched attack drones at oil facilities in western Russia early Wednesday, defense sources in Kyiv confirmed, in the latest aerial assault by Kyiv aiming to dent Russian military logistics.

Ukraine over recent weeks has stepped up aerial attacks on Russian energy facilities in the hopes of crippling Moscow's ability to attack Ukrainian cities or gain more ground in the industrial east.

Officials in the western Russian regions of Smolensk and Lipetsk first announced the attacks.

"Our region was again targeted by Ukrainian drone attacks," Smolensk regional Governor Vasily Anokhin wrote on social media.

"Fires erupted following enemy attacks on civilian energy infrastructure sites."

No one was hurt, he said.

Another drone attack targeted the Lipetsk region further south, which houses metallurgical and pharmaceutical sites, Governor Igor Artamonov announced.

"The Kyiv criminal regime tried to hit infrastructure in Lipetsk industrial zone," he said, without mentioning any victims and adding that residential neighborhoods were not targeted.

A source in the Ukrainian defense sector confirmed to AFP on Wednesday that drones in the service of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) had carried out the attacks.

The source made no mention of the attack on Lipetsk but claimed two oil depots were destroyed in the Smolensk region.

"Rosneft lost two storage and pumping bases for fuels and lubricants in the towns of Yartsevo and Rozdorovo," the source said, referring to the Russian state-controlled energy giant.

The source added that the drones had attacked facilities that store 26,000 cubic metres of fuel and said Ukraine would continue to carry out such bombardments.

"These facilities are — and will remain — absolutely legitimate targets," the source said.

Russia has been launching systematic attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, causing lasting damage to critical facilities.

But Ukraine over recent months has also claimed a series of strikes on Russian refineries and oil storage facilities not only in border regions like Smolensk but also in territories hundreds of kilometers from the border.

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