An overnight drone attack that hit an oil depot near St Petersburg was carried out by Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR), Ukrainska Pravda reported on Jan. 18, citing a source in intelligence.
The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed that a Ukrainian drone was intercepted over Leningrad Oblast, which surrounds St Petersburg, during the early hours of Jan. 18.
Multiple Russian Telegram channels reported that one drone was shot down over the territory of the St. Petersburg Oil Terminal on the Gulf of Finland. The drone allegedly exploded on impact, causing a fire to break out.
"This is a Defense Intelligence operation involving modern Ukrainian assets. Data collection continues, and there are confirmed strikes on targets," the source told Ukrainska Pravda.
The drone strike demonstrates that "military facilities in St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast are within reach of Ukrainian forces," according to the source.
The attack was "not the first time" Ukrainian drones had attacked Leningrad Oblast, "but there are differences this time, and the enemy has felt them," the source said.
Earlier in January, several drones reportedly struck an oil depot and energy provider in Russia's Oryol Oblast, and explosions were reported at a railway track by an oil depot on the outskirts of Nizhny Tagil, a city near the Urals.