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Ukraine war latest: Ukraine claims attack on 4 refineries, Shahed drone storage sites in Russia

by Elsa Court June 21, 2024 10:36 PM 7 min read
Afipskyi oil refinery in Russia's Krasnodar Krai. (Wikipedia)
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Key developments on June 21:

  • Ukraine attacks 4 refineries, Shahed drone storage sites in Russia, military says
  • Russia attacking Chasiv Yar from Toretsk direction, military says
  • Media: South Korea's level of arms supplies to Ukraine will depend on Russia's actions, official says
  • Russian guided bomb attack on Donetsk Oblast town kills 2, injures 3
  • 3 people arrested in Germany for allegedly spying on person from Ukraine

Ukrainian drones attacked four refineries in Russia's Krasnodar Krai and Astrakhan Oblast, as well as sites where Russian Shahed-type drones are stored overnight on June 21, Ukraine's General Staff reported.

Russia claimed to have shot down more than 100 drones in a mass strike on occupied Crimea, Krasnodar Krai, and Volgograd Oblast at night. Russian Telegram channels claimed that drones targeted a military airfield in Yeysk during the attack on Krasnodar Krai.

Afipskyi, Ilskyi, and Krasnodarskyi oil refineries came under attack in Krasnodar Krai, as well as the Astrakhan oil refinery in Astrakhan Oblast, the Ukrainian military said. The Astrakhan refinery may have referred to the city's gas processing plant.

Ukrainian forces also hit Russian radar stations and electronic intelligence centers in occupied Crimea and Russia's Bryansk Oblast, the General Staff said.

Shahed-type attack drone storage and preparation sites, training buildings, and command and communications centers of these drones located in Krasnodar Krai were also attacked, the military reported.

"As a result of the operations, a series of explosions and a fire with subsequent detonation were recorded overnight," the General Staff said. The full consequences of the attacks are being determined.

A source in security and defense forces confirmed for the Kyiv Independent that a joint attack by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Navy's missile forces targeted the 167th training center at the Yeysk military airfield, where Shahed drones were stored.

Several blasts and secondary explosions were recorded at the base, the source said. SBU drones also targeted the Afipskyi, Ilskyi, and Krasnodarskyi oil refineries, according to the source.

The attacks on the refineries will allegedly complicate deliveries of lubricant products. The source did not mention the Astrakhan refinery.

The Kyiv Independent could not verify these claims.

Ukraine's Armed Forces also attacked Russia's Republic of Adygea and Tambov Oblast along with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) overnight on June 20, the General Staff confirmed.

Ukrainian drones attacked the Tambovnefteprodukt fuel and lubricants warehouse in Tambov Oblast and Lukoil-Yugnefteprodukt company's Enyemskaya oil depot in the Republic of Adygea, a source in security and defense forces told the Kyiv Independent.

Fire at oil depot in Russia’s Rostov Oblast extinguished, governor says
The fire at an oil depot in the town of Azov in Russia’s Rostov Oblast has been extinguished, Rostov Oblast Governor Vasyl Golubev claimed on June 21.

Russia attacking Chasiv Yar from Toretsk direction, military says

Russian troops started storming the town of Chasiv Yar in Donetsk Oblast from Toretsk direction a few days ago, Nazar Voloshyn, the spokesperson for the Khortytsia group of forces, told Interfax Ukraine on June 21.

The statement came after Ukraine's 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade said it had been redeployed to bolster the Armed Forces' defense of Chasiv Yar, an elevated town that potentially opens for Russia the way to further advances into Donetsk Oblast.

The Ukrainian military reported on June 18 an increase in Russian attacks near the town of Toretsk after a "long lull" in fighting in the area.

Toretsk, the strategically important town located less than 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the front line, had a population of around 31,000 before the start of the full-scale invasion.

Russian forces are trying to advance from the occupied town of Horlivka to the villages of Shumy and Niu-York, Voloshyn said.

"Over the past week, (Russian) attacks have been taking place constantly. There are mechanized frontal assaults on Chasiv Yar, and small groups of up to five people are trying to break into Novyi and Kanal neighborhoods," the spokesperson said.

Russian troops tried three times to approach Ukraine's positions near Chasiv Yar and Klishchiivka, he said, adding that the situation is "under control" and fighting is ongoing.

"The defense forces units are successfully restraining the onslaught and strengthening their positions in some areas," Voloshyn said.

Russian forces have ramped up their offensive in Donetsk Oblast, focusing their efforts on Chasiv Yar. By attacking nearby settlements such as Ivanivske, Moscow is attempting to encircle the town, whose capture would allow further advances into the region.

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Russia targeted a total of 10 Ukrainian oblasts — Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Luhansk, Kirovohrad, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Donetsk. Casualties were reported in the latter three regions.

Media: South Korea's level of arms supplies to Ukraine will depend on Russia's actions, official says

South Korea will determine the volume of potential weapons deliveries to Ukraine based on Russia's position toward North Korea, Yonhap reported, citing an unnamed presidential official on June 21.

The reports came after Seoul said it would reconsider supplying Ukraine with weapons in response to Moscow's newly announced security agreement with North Korea.

Up until now, Seoul has only provided humanitarian aid to Kyiv, though it has been reported the country has indirectly supplied artillery shells via the U.S.

"There are various options for providing weapons, and our position on the recent developments between Russia and North Korea depends on how Russia approaches the situation going forward," the unnamed official told Yonhap.

The weapons that Seoul could potentially send to Ukraine include 155 mm artillery shells or air defense systems, government sources told Yonhap.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would take decisions that are "unlikely to please South Korea" if Seoul decides to send arms to Ukraine. He also did not exclude the possibility of sending weapons to North Korea, based on the recently signed deal between the two countries.

Under the new treaty, Russia and North Korea pledged to provide aid to one another if either is attacked, Putin said.

Matthew Miller, the U.S. State Department spokesperson, called Putin's threats "incredibly concerning" at a press briefing on June 20.

"It would destabilize the Korean Peninsula... depending on the type of weapons they provide, (it) might violate U.N. Security Council resolutions that Russia itself has supported," Miller said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry summoned on June 21 Georgy Zinoviev, Russia's ambassador to Seoul, and protested the conclusion of the strategic partnership agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang.

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Russian guided bomb attack on Donetsk Oblast town kills 2, injures 3

Russian troops dropped a guided aerial bomb on the town of Selydove in Donetsk Oblast on the morning of June 21, killing two people and injuring three, Governor Vadym Filashkin said.

Selydove is located some 45 kilometers (28 miles) west of the city of Donetsk, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014.

The attack targeted the residential area of the town, according to Filashkin. Six houses, five high-rise buildings, and a car were damaged, he added.

Settlements in Donetsk Oblast suffer from daily Russian strikes due to their proximity to the front line. Heavy fighting continues in Donetsk Oblast as Russia seeks to occupy the entire region.

Russian attacks against Ukraine over the past day killed six people and injured 13, regional authorities said.

Russian forces claim to have deployed FAB-3000 glide bomb for first time
A video shared by a pro-Kremlin blogger purports to show Russian bombers striking a Ukrainian military target in the village of Liptsy in Kharkiv Oblast.

3 people arrested in Germany for allegedly spying on person from Ukraine

Three men were arrested in Germany on suspicion of cooperating with a foreign secret service, the German Federal Prosecutor's Office reported on June 21.

"The three accused were traveling in Germany on behalf of a foreign secret service to collect information on a person from Ukraine who was staying here," the statement said, adding that they "scouted out a cafe in Frankfurt am Main where the target person was supposed to be."

Men from Ukraine, Armenia, and Russia were arrested by Hesse state police in Frankfurt am Main on June 19.

No further information was provided.

This development occurs amid a rise in sabotage activities in Europe, seemingly aimed at disrupting Western support for Ukraine and allegedly orchestrated by Russia or Russian-linked individuals.

A Russian woman was arrested in Denmark just over a week prior and charged with helping a foreign intelligence service operate in the country,  the Danish national broadcaster DR reported on June 11.

The New York Times (NYT) reported on May 26 that U.S. and allied intelligence officials have noted a growing number of low-level sabotage operations in Europe that seem to be part of Russia's effort to undermine assistance for Ukraine.

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Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, neighboring Slovakia, with its own experience of decades of Russian occupation in the 20th century, became one of the staunchest supporters of Ukraine. Under the guidan…

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