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Ukrainian Drone Attacks Oil Refinery in Russia’s Kaluga Region

A fire after a drone attack in the Kursk region.

A Ukrainian drone struck an oil refinery in central Russia’s Kaluga region, local authorities said Friday, as a recent uptick in attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure possibly risks destabilizing global energy markets.

The Kaluga region, located south of Moscow, was among at least five Russian regions that reported drone strikes between Thursday night and Friday morning.

“Last night, a fire occurred as a result of a drone crash on the territory of an enterprise in the Dzerzhinsky district,” Kaluga region Governor Vladislav Shapsha wrote on Telegram. He did not identify the enterprise by name, only saying that the fire had been extinguished and there were no casualties.

Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti, citing anonymous emergency service sources, reported that three diesel tankers and one fuel oil tanker caught fire at a small Kaluga region refinery after the strike. 

An unverified video shared by the independent Telegram news channel Astra showed an industrial site engulfed in flames.

Drones previously attacked the Kaluga refinery on March 15, the day when Russia kicked off its presidential election in which Vladimir Putin secured a six-year term despite widespread reports of fraud and an uneven political playing field.

U.S. officials have previously warned that Ukrainian attacks on Russian oil refineries “could have a knock-on effect in terms of the global energy situation.”  

Ukrainian drone attacks on oil refineries inside Russia have led to a slump in the country’s gasoline production, according to Russian media reports.

Russia’s Defense Ministry made no mention of the drone strike on the Kaluga oil refinery but said it had intercepted Ukrainian drones over the Bryansk, Moscow, and Belgorod regions overnight and early Friday.

The governor of the Kursk region said drone strikes there had set three houses on fire, while Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said one drone was intercepted over the nearby city of Podolsk as it reportedly flew toward the Russian capital.

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