NewsUkraine disrupts Russian fuel production with targeted drone attacks

Ukraine disrupts Russian fuel production with targeted drone attacks

Fire at the Russian refinery in the city of Orel.
Fire at the Russian refinery in the city of Orel.
Images source: © X | Yaroslav Trofimov,

4:03 PM EDT, March 19, 2024

Ukraine has been strategically targeting Russia's fuel infrastructure, with drone attacks in March severely impacting the country's fuel production capabilities. These attacks incapacitated approximately 10% of Russia's fuel production.

For several months, Ukraine has been executing selective strikes on key Russian oil facilities. Since the year's start, there have been numerous successful attacks on critical refinery plants, oil ports, and fuel depots. Recent reports from the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) highlight that in the past few days, they have successfully targeted 12 refineries in Russia, as reported by "Ukrainska Pravda".

Analysis from Reuters, based on industry source data, reveals that 13% of the total production capacity at Russian refineries is currently non-operational due to emergency shutdowns.

The impact of these attacks, particularly on gasoline and diesel fuel refineries, has cut Russian fuel production by more than 9%, amounting to a daily loss of 77,400 tons of refined crude oil.

"The Moscow Times" reports a threefold increase in the number of damaged oil refining installations, with emergency shutdowns in mid-March being 1.4 times more extensive than planned maintenance.

Recently, Ukrainian forces confirmed attacks on three refineries in the Samara region and another in the Krasnodar Territory. Combined, the refineries in the Samara region process roughly 25 million tons of oil annually. Additionally, a fire was reported at the Slaviansk oil refinery.

Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) shared that last Friday, their drones hit a refinery in the Kaluga region near Moscow. Other targeted locations included the Oil Products Plant in Novoshakhtinsk, Rostov region, and refineries in Ryazan, Kstovo in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and Kirishi in the Leningrad region.

On the night of March 11 to March 12, an explosion disrupted operations at the Lukoil refinery in Kstovo, which processes 17 million tons of oil annually, halting its production.

Through these precise drone strikes on active refineries and fuel depots, Ukraine is not only challenging Russia's fuel security but also inflicting damage on the infrastructure supporting the invasion and striking at Russian oil interests.

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