Ukrainian soldiers operate a reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle on the outskirts of the city of Bakhmut, near the frontline Donetsk region, Ukraine May 25, 2023, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
stringer | reuters
Ukraine on Saturday followed up with a series of drone attacks on oil pipeline installations deep inside Russia, hitting a station serving the huge Druzhba oil pipeline that sends West Siberian crude to Europe, according to Russian media.
Ukrainian drone strikes inside Russia have been increasing in intensity in recent weeks, and the New York Times reported that US intelligence believes Ukraine was behind a drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month.
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Ukraine has not publicly acknowledged launching attacks against targets inside Russia. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
Kommersant newspaper said that in the Tver region, which is located northwest of Moscow, two drones attacked a station serving the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, one of the world’s largest oil pipelines.
The Tver local council said a drone had crashed near the village of Erokhino, about 500 km (310 miles) from the border with Ukraine.
Telegram channel Baza, which has good sources among Russia’s security services, said drones struck a station serving the Druzhba pipeline.
The Soviet-built Druzhba has the capacity to pump more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd), but it has come under severe scrutiny after President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine last year to demand Europe reduce its dependence on Russian energy. Not properly used.
Russia’s oil pipeline operator Transneft said earlier this month that a filling point on Druzhba, in Russian territory bordering Ukraine, had been attacked.
In its daily briefing on the Ukraine war, Russia’s defense ministry said it had destroyed 12 Ukrainian drones in the past 24 hours and intercepted two long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles supplied by Britain to Ukraine.
Russia also said it had intercepted short-range US-made HIMARS-launched and HARM missiles. The ministry did not say where those intercepts took place but reported fighting at points along the front line.
Reuters could not immediately verify accounts of the battlefield from either side.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Kiev officials previously said the Western-supplied weapons would be used exclusively against Russian forces inside Ukraine.
In western Russia’s Pskov region, two drones set off an explosion that damaged an oil pipeline administrative building, local governor Mikhail Vedernikov said. The incident occurred near the village of Litvinovo, less than 10 km (6 mi) from Russia’s border with Belarus.
“Temporarily, the building was damaged as a result of an attack by two unmanned aerial vehicles,” Vedernikov said.
In a separate incident, shelling from Ukraine near the Ukrainian border in the Kursk region killed a construction worker, the local governor said.