Ukraine drone attack strikes Russian steel factory: Kyiv Source

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Ukrainian drones struck and damaged a major Russian steel factory in the Lipetsk region during an overnight attack on Wednesday, a Kyiv intelligence source told Reuters.

The source said the attack had partially destroyed an “oxygen station” at the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant, something it said would have a long-term impact on the company’s work.

NLMK, which owns the plant, declined to comment. A regional industry source in Russia said the facility continued to work normally.

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Lipetsk’s regional governor said earlier that a Ukrainian drone had come down in an industrial zone overnight, but did not say if there had been damage.

Ukraine has increasingly focused on targeting Russian oil and industrial facilities with long-range drones in recent months to try to find a pressure point on Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Kyiv does not officially confirm or deny such attacks, but says the facilities being hit are supporting the war effort and legitimate military targets.

NLMK denies it cooperates with the Russian defence industry and says its output has a civilian use.

It said in October 2022 that its Russian operations were not capable of producing military-grade heavy steels and it did not supply goods to the military.

The Kyiv source said the overnight attack was carried out by Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence agency.

Apart from the steel factory, two oil depots owned by Rosneft were struck by drones in Russia’s region of Smolensk overnight, an intelligence source told Reuters earlier.

Russia conducted long-range strikes on Ukraine throughout the war and in recent weeks has stepped ups its aerial attacks on the energy system.

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