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Ukrainian drones struck two Rosneft oil depots in attack, Kyiv source says

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KYIV (Reuters) – Drones sent by Ukraine’s SBU security service struck two Rosneft-owned oil depots in Russia’s Smolensk region in an overnight attack on Wednesday, a Ukrainian intelligence source said.

The source said the depots contained 26,000 cubic metres of fuel and that the attack caused major fires and evacuation of personnel.

“The SBU continues to effectively destroy military infrastructure and logistics that provide fuel to the Russian army in Ukraine,” the source said. “These facilities are and will remain our absolutely legitimate targets.”

Russian regional officials said earlier that fires had broken out at the facilities following the drone attack.

As the emergency services worked on sites, some residents were evacuated from parts of Lipetsk in Russia’s southwest after a drone there fell on an industrial park.

There were no casualties reported in the attack, Vasily Anokhin, the governor of the Smolensk region, said in a statement on Telegram messaging app.

With Russia’s full-scale invasion in its third year, Ukraine has increasingly focused on targeting Russian oil and energy facilities with long-range drones.

Kyiv considers oil refineries as legitimate targets, despite calls from its allies to halt strikes in order to avoid Russian retaliation and hikes in global oil prices.

As of the end of March, around 14% of Russia’s primary oil refining capacity had been knocked out by Ukrainian drone attacks, according to Reuters calculations.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; writing by Anastasiia Malenko, Editing by William Maclean)

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