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The Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez petroleum refinery, operated by OAO Lukoil, stands illuminated at night in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Dec. 15, 2011. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The U.S. reportedly warned Ukraine to stop attacking Russian oil refineries, cautioning that strikes against the facilities could raise global oil prices and increase the risk of further retaliation, the Financial Times (FT) reported on March 22, citing unnamed sources in Ukraine's military intelligence and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

In the past weeks, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of drone strikes aimed at damaging Russia's oil industry. Ukraine has hit oil refineries in multiple regions deep inside the Russian territory.

As foreign military aid has decreased, especially due to the ongoing deadlock on funding from the U.S., Ukraine has turned to focus on its domestically produced attack capabilities.

The sources told the FT that the U.S. is concerned Russia could potentially retaliate by striking energy infrastructure used by the West, which could result in higher energy prices globally.

At the same time, Russia is highly reliant on revenue from its energy exports to fund its war machine, and the attacks on the refineries have already caused significant disruptions.

While U.S. President Joe Biden has regularly repeated his support for Ukraine and willingness to prevent a Russian victory, he is also facing a reelection battle later this year.

An analyst told the FT that the U.S.'s warnings could be primarily related to electoral politics.

"Nothing terrifies a sitting American president more than a surge in pump prices during an election year," said Bob McNally, the president of the consultancy group Rapidan Energy and a former White House energy adviser.

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
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