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Sources: SBU drone attack destroys 26,000 cubic meters of Russian fuel in Smolensk Oblast

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 24, 2024 11:16 AM 2 min read
Alleged footage of a burning oil terminal in Smolensk Oblast, Russia, on April 24, 2024. (Open sources/X)
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Drones of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) attacked two oil depots in Russia's Smolensk Oblast overnight, destroying 26,000 cubic meters of fuel, sources in law enforcement agencies told the Kyiv Independent on April 24.

Russian media and officials reported drone attacks in Smolensk Oblast, as well as in Lipetsk and Voronezh oblasts overnight, reportedly targeting energy and industrial facilities.

Footage of what was purported to be a burning oil terminal in Yartsevo, Smolensk Oblast, began circulating on social media.

The Kyiv Independent's sources said that Russia's state-controlled company Rosneft "lost two storage and pumping bases for fuel and lubricants in Yartsevo and Razdorovo in Smolensk Oblast."

According to the sources, the operation was carried out by SBU drones.

Some 26,000 cubic meters of Russian fuel were purportedly stored there. After the powerful explosions, a large-scale fire and personnel evacuation began at the facilities, the sources said.

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"The SBU continues to effectively destroy the military infrastructure and logistics that provide fuel to the Russian army in Ukraine. These objects are and will remain our completely legitimate goals," the sources said.

Vasily Anokhin, the Smolensk Oblast governor, claimed there were no casualties as a result of the strike and that emergency services are working on the spot.

"As a result of the enemy attack on fuel and energy facilities, fires broke out in the Smolensk and Yartsevo districts," Anokhin wrote on his Telegram channel.

The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify the claims.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of drone strikes aimed at damaging Russia's oil industry. A large-scale attack against Russian energy infrastructure on April 20 reportedly started a fire at a fuel storage tank in Smolensk Oblast.

Strikes against Russian energy targets have prompted criticism from U.S. officials, who have made it clear that Washington does not support Ukraine's attacks on 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.

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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