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Military Intelligence says 'incident' occurs at Russia's Kuibyshev oil refinery

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 23, 2024 3:20 PM 2 min read
Military intelligence spokesperson Andrii Yusov. (Eugen Kotenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Spokesperson of Ukraine's military intelligence agency, Andriy Yusov, said that "an incident" took place at the Kuibyshev oil refinery in Russia's Samara Oblast overnight on March 23.

Local Russian officials claimed that a fire that broke out at the oil refinery had been caused by a drone attack. No casualties were reported.

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 Russian territory.

Yusov did not comment on Ukraine's possible involvement in the recent attack.

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"We can only state that there was an incident there and that it is a facility used for military purposes," HUR's spokesperson said on national television when asked about the fire at the Kuibyshev oil refinery.

Ukrainian forces previously struck the Kuibyshev oil refinery on March 16 in a drone strike that also targeted the region's Syzran refinery. Only the Syzran facility caught fire following the attack, Russian officials claimed.

Both refineries are owned by Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company.

Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna said on March 22 that Russia's oil refineries are "absolutely legitimate targets" for the Ukrainian military. Her statement followed media reports that the U.S. had asked Ukraine to stop attacking the Russian oil industry.

President's Office adviser Mykhailo Podolyak denied the reports, saying Kyiv did not receive such calls from Washington.

Ukraine's recent drone attacks knocked out about 600,000 barrels of Russia's daily oil-refining capacity, as estimated by Torbjorn Tornqvist, the director of the international energy commodities trading company Gunvor Group, Bloomberg reported on March 18.

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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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