New drone attacks strike Russian fuel depots

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Fires broke out at two Russian fuel depots on Thursday after suspected drone attacks, officials said, the latest in a series of Ukrainian strikes against Russia’s oil industry.

Maxim Yegorov, governor of the Tambov region southeast of Moscow, said firefighters were tackling a blaze at the Platonovskaya fuel depot that broke out after an explosion probably caused by a drone. No one was hurt, he said.

RIA news agency said a second reservoir had caught fire at the fuel depot. The local emergency service issued a warning over possible drone attacks, urging civilians to exercise caution and avoid open spaces.

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Earlier on Thursday a fire broke out at a fuel depot in Russia’s Adygeya region in the North Caucasus after a Ukrainian drone attack, but it has already been put out, regional head Murat Kumpilov wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

Drone strikes on large fuel depots across Russia have intensified in the last days, while attacks on oil refineries, whose operations have far greater impact on global oil markets and prices, have subsided.

Ukraine says Russian energy installations are legitimate targets because they support Moscow’s war effort at a time when Russian strikes are pounding Ukrainian cities and infrastructure.

A Russian attack overnight damaged energy infrastructure in four Ukrainian regions on Thursday, the Ukrainian energy ministry said, injuring three workers and cutting power to some consumers.

On Tuesday, several oil storage tanks in the Russian town of Azov caught fire after a drone attack that a Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters was conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

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In the last update on Wednesday, the local emergency service said the fire was still raging after more than a day and a half.

There are around 30 large oil refineries in Russia and any interruptions to their operations are sensitive both for domestic and global markets. The country also has hundreds of fuel reservoirs storing various oil products, such as gasoline and diesel.

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