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The Slavyansk-on-Kuban oil refinery in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. (Krasnodar Krai administration)
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The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in conjunction with the country's new Unmanned Systems Forces, launched a drone attack on Russia's Kushchevskaya military airbase and Slavyansk oil refinery plant overnight, Ukrainska Pravda reported on May 19.

According to an SBU source cited by Ukrainska Pravda, "dozens" of aircraft used to attack Ukraine and its armed forces including Su-34s, Su-25s, Su-27s, and MiG-29s were stationed at the airfield.

There is currently no information on damage or casualties though the source said the Slavyansk oil refinery has paused operations.

In recent months, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of drone strikes aimed at damaging Russia's oil industry, which is crucial to sustain Moscow's war efforts, as well as its military hardware.

It's the second time this particular airbase and refinery have been targeted by SBU drones in recent weeks – an attack on April 27 reportedly hit "key technological objects" and damaged several aircraft.

"The SBU continues to effectively target military and infrastructure facilities behind enemy lines, reducing Russia's potential for waging war," it said at the time.

The creation of Ukraine's new Unmanned Systems Forces was announced by President Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 6.

It is working on improving Ukraine's work with drones, creating special drone-specific units, ramping up training, systemizing their use, increasing production, and pushing innovation.

According to the President's Office, the division will aim to "increase the capabilities of Ukraine's Armed Forces and to use unmanned and robotic air, sea, and ground systems."

"This year should be decisive in many aspects – and, obviously, on the battlefield," Zelensky said at the time. "Drones – unmanned systems – have proven their effectiveness in battles on land, in the sky, and at sea."

"Ukraine has really changed the security situation in the Black Sea thanks to drones. Repelling assaults on the ground is largely the work of drones.

"The large-scale destruction of the (Russian) occupiers  and their equipment is (also due to) drones."

UPDATED: Russian ‘double-tap’ strike north of Kharkiv kills 5, including pregnant woman
“(Russian troops) attacked the area where local residents were resting” in Mala Danylivka, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.
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