Ukrainian Drones Strike Russian Oil Facilities in Smolensk and Lipetsk Regions

Ukrainian drones attacked Russian oil facilities, disrupting Moscow's war effort, but raising concerns over global oil prices and potential retaliation.

Trim Correspondents
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Ukrainian Drones Strike Russian Oil Facilities in Smolensk and Lipetsk Regions

Ukrainian Drones Strike Russian Oil Facilities in Smolensk and Lipetsk Regions

Ukrainian drones launched attacks on oil facilities in the western Russian regions of Smolensk and Lipetsk early Wednesday, according to defense sources in Kyiv. The strikes targeted civilian energy infrastructure sites, causing fires but no casualties.

In the Smolensk region, the governor confirmed the attacks, stating that fires broke out around the city of Smolensk and in a town to the east as a result of an "enemy attack on civilian fuel and energy facilities." A Ukrainian defense source claimed two oil depots belonging to the Russian state-controlled energy giant Rosneft were destroyed in the region.

Meanwhile, the Lipetsk region governor said the "Kyiv criminal regime" tried to hit infrastructure in the Lipetsk industrial zone. A drone reportedly crashed in the industrial area, but there were no casualties. Local residents claimed the drones had attacked the Novolipetsk Iron and Steel Works, but this was not confirmed.

Why this matters: Ukraine's drone strikes on Russian oil facilities are part of a broader effort to disrupt Moscow's war effort by targeting energy infrastructure. However, there are concerns that such attacks could drive up global oil prices, which is a key concern for the US electorate during an election year.

Russia's defense ministry said its air defenses had intercepted multiple Ukrainian drones over the Voronezh, Smolensk, and Belgorod regions overnight. The attacks caused damage to private buildings in the Voronezh region in addition to the strikes on industrial zones.

A Ukrainian intelligence source said the attacks were carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and would have a long-term impact on the operations of the targeted facilities. The source emphasized that these oil depots are "absolutely legitimate targets" for Ukraine as it aims to cut off resources for Russia's military campaign.

Russia has been launching systematic attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, while Ukraine has also claimed strikes on Russian refineries and oil storage facilities in recent months. The US has previously pushed Ukraine to stop attacks on Russian oil facilities due to concerns over potential disruptions to global energy markets and Russian retaliation.

Key Takeaways

  • Ukrainian drones attacked oil facilities in Smolensk and Lipetsk, Russia.
  • Attacks targeted civilian energy infrastructure, causing fires but no casualties.
  • Russia claimed its air defenses intercepted the drones, damaging private buildings.
  • Ukraine says the attacks aimed to disrupt Russia's war effort by targeting oil.
  • US has previously urged Ukraine to stop such attacks due to global energy concerns.