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Oil storage tanks sit illuminated by electric light at the "TANECO" refining and petrochemical plant, operated by Tatneft OAO, in Nizhnekamsk, Russia, on July 30, 2015. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The headline was changed and the article was updated when the Kyiv Independent's source in the Security Service of Ukraine confirmed reports about the attack and provided more details.

During an April 2 attack on industrial facilities in Russia's Tatarstan, a Ukrainian long-range drone targeted one of the country's largest oil refineries, located in the city of Nizhnekamsk, a source in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told the Kyiv Independent.

Fossil fuels are the primary drivers of the Russian economy and the main source of revenue for the Kremlin's war machine. Despite Western sanctions, Russia still provides oil and gas to other countries around the world, primarily India and China.

Over the last weeks, Ukraine has carried out increasingly regular attacks on Russian oil refineries and other industrial facilities with long-range drones. In total, the recent attacks have reportedly disrupted between 12-14% of Russia's refining capacity.

The attack on Tatarstan also hit a manufacturing facility for Shahed-type attack drones at the Alabuga special economic zone in the Yelabuga district.

The attack on the Nizhnekamsk oil refinery was a joint operation carried out by the SBU and HUR, the source said.

The Ukrainian drone hit the refinery's primary oil processing facility, which has an annual production capacity of around 8 million tons, amounting to 2.6% of Russia's total annual oil-processing capacity, the source said.

"We continue to work systematically to ensure that Russia has fewer and fewer opportunities to finance the war of aggression against Ukraine. We will continue to cut off oxygen to the 'gas station country' in order to minimize the flow of petrodollars to the Russian military budget," added the source.

The Taneco oil refining complex in Nizhnekamsk came under drone attack in the morning, which led to a fire that was extinguished in 20 minutes, emergency services told Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti.

Ukrainian drones hit one Russian oil refinery after another
Ukraine faces a challenging problem: how to stop a resurgent Moscow in its tracks long enough to rotate the troops, resupply, and fortify. Part of the answer is playing out right now in the skies over Russia. Over the past two weeks, at least dozens of Ukrainian drones reportedly struck

Nizhnekamsk Mayor Ramil Mullin told Russian state-run news outlet TASS that a drone had attempted to strike the facility but was neutralized by electronic warfare, adding that there were no casualties or damage.

The Kyiv Independent is unable to verify claims made by Russian authorities.

Russian Telegram channels, such as Baza, also reported on the drone attack on the oil refinery, citing local residents.

Nizhnekamsk lies in western Russia, around 1,300 kilometers from the country's border with Ukraine. Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has reportedly never been attacked by drones before.

The attacks on industrial facilities in Tatarstan came a day after Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said that Ukraine has domestically-produced attack drones capable of flying over 1,000 kilometers.

In an interview with the Washington Post on March 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky asserted that targeting Russian energy infrastructure is a legitimate military strategy.

The strikes serve as retaliation for Russian attacks on critical infrastructure and align with Ukraine's military objectives, Zelensky said.

The interview followed media reports that the U.S. had asked Ukraine to stop attacking the Russian oil industry. Advisor to Ukraine's Presidential Office head Mykhailo Podolyak denied the reports, saying Kyiv did not receive such calls from Washington.

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