Two Dead As Drone Attacks Set Oil Refinery On Fire In Russia

On Saturday, multiple air attacks on the Russian border province of Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, killed two people and injured at least seven others, according to the governor.

Further east, a nocturnal drone attack on the Samara region set fire to a large oil refinery, the latest in a string of strikes on Russia’s fuel industry.

Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov reported on Telegram that two districts in his region, as well as the regional capital, Belgorod, had been targeted by drone and air strikes.

“It’s shaping up to be a difficult morning,” Gladkov said.

“As a result of an air attack by Ukrainian armed forces on Belgorod, three balconies collapsed in an apartment building. One of these apartments was occupied by a married couple. To much grief, the man died from his injuries on the spot,” he said.

He shared a snapshot of a residential building with its facade largely ruined.

Another individual was murdered in a drone attack on neighborhoods outside the city, he claimed.

In the Samara region, 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the eastern combat lines, the local governor claimed “several drone attacks” on local oil facilities.

Governor Dmitry Azarov issued a Telegram post stating that one of the incidents resulted in a fire at the Kuibyshev refinery. No casualties were reported.

According to its official website, the refinery, operated by Russian oil giant Rosneft, is one of the region’s largest, with a production capacity of seven million tonnes per year.

A drone attack on another refinery in the region, Novokuibyshevsk, was “repelled without causing any damage to technological equipment,” Azarov said.

The attacks came 24 hours after Russia launched one of its most powerful aircraft bombardments of the two-year conflict, striking dozens of Ukrainian energy sites and temporarily cutting power to more than a million people.

Ukraine’s air force said it shot down 31 of 34 Russian drones that fired on its territory overnight, while Russia’s defense ministry said it intercepted 12 Ukrainian drones.

Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for almost two years, has increased its attacks within Russia in recent weeks, focusing on energy assets in particular.

In recent days, Russia has started a torrent of “retaliatory” attacks against Ukraine’s energy industry and the capital, Kyiv.

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