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The footage purported to show the aftermath of Ukrainian drones attack on Russia on April 20, 2024. (Video screenshot/Baza/X)
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Ukrainian special services, together with the military, orchestrated a large-scale drone attack on Russia's energy infrastructure overnight on April 20, an intelligence source told the Kyiv Independent.

According to the country's defense ministry, Russian air defense shot down 50 Ukrainian drones over eight regions, including Belgorod, Kursk, Moscow, Tula, Ryazan, Bryansk, Kaluga, and Smolensk oblasts.

A fire broke out at three separate energy facilities in the latter three regions, according to local authorities. Drone debris also reportedly started a fire at a fuel storage tank in Smolensk Oblast.

The attack was a joint operation of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Military intelligence agency (HUR) and the Special Operations Forces (SOF), the source said.

The drones reportedly targeted the energy infrastructure that powers the Russian military-industrial complex, causing problems with electricity and water supply in some areas.

"The SBU drones successfully attacked the infrastructure that ensures the continuous operation of military facilities in Russia," a military intelligence source told the Kyiv Independent.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify the claims of Russian authorities, and Ukraine does not usually comment on alleged attacks on Russian soil.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of drone strikes aimed at damaging Russia's oil industry. A total of 12 Russian oil refineries were reportedly successfully hit in multiple regions deep inside Russian territory as of March 17.

Ukraine also attacked one of Russia's largest oil refineries on April 2 in the city of Nizhnekamsk in Tatarstan, over 1,000 kilometers from Ukraine's border.

The strikes have prompted criticism from U.S. officials, who have made it clear the Washington does not support Ukraine's targeting of oil refineries, citing fears that it could threaten the global energy market.

In response, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv has the right to use its own weapons with retaliatory strikes on Russian oil refineries, despite concerns from the United States.

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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