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Illustrative photo of flames come out of the tower of an oil refinery plant. (Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: The story was updated at 16:50 Kyiv time after several media outlets reported that the attack was carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), citing anonymous SBU sources.

The governor of Russia's Samara Oblast reported on March 16 that two Rosneft oil refineries in the area were targeted by Ukrainian drones, resulting in no casualties but leaving one facility on fire.

Ukraine has launched a concerted effort to degrade Russia’s oil production capabilities, targeting refineries across the country. Earlier this week, oil refineries were attacked in Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod, and Leningrad oblasts.

The facilities hit by Ukrainian drones in the past days account for about 12% of Russia’s oil-processing capacity, Bloomberg reported.

The Volga River region's Syzran refinery was on fire, but an attack on the Novokuibyshevsk refinery had been thwarted, regional governor Dmitry Azarov said via Telegram on March 16. There were no casualties, according to him. The Russian city of Samara is located around 850 kilometers southeast of Moscow.

Unverified footage shared by several Telegram channels depicted a significant fire at what appeared to be the Syzran refinery, with emergency services seen at the scene.

Several Ukrainian media outlets reported later on March 16 that, according to their sources in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), SBU drones carried out successful attacks against the Syzran, Novokuibyshevsk, and Kuibyshevsk oil refineries.

The Kyiv Independent reached out to an SBU representative for comment but did not receive a response at the time of the publication.

According to the SBU sources, the three plants produced around 25 million metric tons of oil per year, representing almost 10% of all oil refining in Russia.

Russia is voting today in three-day presidential elections. Vladimir Putin is running for president for the fifth time, seeking to extend his rule by six more years - until at least 2030.

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