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Ukraine strike on oil refinery leaves one dead, Russia says

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Ukraine attacked an oil refinery in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region with drones on Sunday, sparking a fire and leaving one person dead of a “heart attack”, regional authorities said.

Russia said Sunday its air defenses had intercepted a barrage of 35 Ukrainian drones overnight into March 17, the final day of voting in the country’s presidential elections.

“At night around 3 am (0000 GMT), several unmanned aerial vehicles attempted to attack the Slavyansk oil refinery,” the Krasnodar region operational headquarters said on Telegram.

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Air defenses intercepted the drones but a fire broke out after one of them fell on the refinery, it said.

“One person died at the time of the drone attack, the preliminary cause of death being a heart attack,” it added.

There were no casualties as a direct result of the fire, which was later extinguished, it said.

The Slavyansk-on-Kuban refinery is located in the Krasnodar region, east of the Sea of Azov.

Drone attacks on refineries and energy sites in Russia have increased this week in the run-up to a presidential election guaranteed to cement President Vladimir Putin’s hardline rule.

Air defences “intercepted and destroyed” 35 unmanned aerial vehicles over eight different regions, including four over Moscow, the defence ministry said Sunday.

A fire broke out at a refinery in Samara, around 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) from the Ukrainian border, following drone attacks on Saturday.

An oil refinery was also targeted by a drone strike in Ryazan on Wednesday, causing casualties, while another refinery was targeted outside the city of Nizhny Novgorod on Tuesday.

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Two people died following drone strikes in the Russian city of Belgorod on Saturday.

Putin has vowed that Ukrainian attacks on Russian territory will not go “unpunished”.

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