NewsUkraine Strikes Major Russian Oil Refinery in Coordinated Drone Attack

Ukraine Strikes Major Russian Oil Refinery in Coordinated Drone Attack

Ukraine Strikes Major Russian Oil Refinery in Coordinated Drone Attack
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7:29 PM EDT, April 1, 2024, updated: 9:59 AM EDT, April 2, 2024

The drone attack on the refinery in Nizhnekamsk, Tatarstan, Russia, executed in the early hours of Tuesday, was a collaborative operation between the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR), according to Reuters, based on sources within Kyiv's power structures.
The agency's informants have confirmed that the strike ignited a fire at the facility. Additionally, they mentioned that such raids on Russian targets would persist to diminish the Kremlin's earnings from oil production and export. These precise drone attacks on operational refineries and fuel depots aim to compromise Russia's fuel security, undermining the logistics of the invading forces while simultaneously striking Russian oil interests.

An analysis of photos detailing the aftermath of the strike at the Nizhnekamsk facility suggests that the oil processing unit at the Tatneft petrochemical concern's refinery was the intended target. This unit is significant, accounting for roughly half of the plant's total annual production capacity, which exceeds 17 million tons (about 376,000 barrels per day), as noted by Reuters.

In 2022, the Tatneft concern, based in Almetyevsk, Tatarstan, ranked Russia's seventh-largest company and fifth in oil production.

Furthermore, on Tuesday, RBK-Ukraine, citing HUR sources, confirmed the execution of drone attacks on enterprises in Yelabuga and Nizhnekamsk during the early hours. Notably, one of the strikes targeted a factory in Yelabuga producing Shahed-type drones, utilizing Iranian technology, which have been deployed in attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine.

Attacks on Refinaries and Industrial Facilities

These incidents marked Tatarstan's first drone attacks since the war's onset in February 2022, despite its considerable distance—over 621 miles—from the Ukrainian border.
In March, both HUR and SBU acknowledged conducting strikes on several refineries across Russia. Russian and Ukrainian media outlets have reported attacks on key facilities in regions such as Krasnodar, Rostov, Nizhny Novgorod, Leningrad, Samara, and beyond, as well as on a thermal power plant near Petersburg. There have also been accounts of drone strikes targeting vital industrial sites linked to the Russian arms industry.

USA concerned about attacks on Russia?

Reuters approximates that the operational capacity of Russian refineries taken offline due to drone strikes in the first quarter stood at about 4.6 million tons of crude oil (approximately 370,500 barrels per day). This represents around 7 percent of the total capacity of all such facilities in Russia.
It's been articulated by US authorities that they neither encourage nor support Ukraine in launching attacks on Russian soil. A report from the Financial Times on March 22 highlighted Washington's efforts to persuade Kyiv to cease refinery drone raids, potentially fueled by concerns over a surge in global oil prices.
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