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Ukrainian strikes reduced Russian oil refining by 17%, NATO official tells media

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 10, 2024 9:49 AM 2 min read
The Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez oil refinery, operated by OAO Lukoil, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's drone strikes on Russian oil refinery sites have caused the volume of Russia's oil refining to fall by around 17%, a NATO official reportedly told journalists in Washington on July 9.

"I think we will continue to observe this, as Ukraine uses different types of weapons, and this will have a further impact on the Russian economy," the unnamed official reportedly said on the sidelines of the NATO summit.

Ukraine has carried out increasingly long-range drone strikes into Russian territory, often targeting oil refineries and depots to disrupt fuel supplies to the Russian military and diminish Moscow's fossil fuel export revenues, crucial for funding the war.

Bloomberg reported in March that the strikes have disrupted between 12-14% of Russia's oil refining capacity.

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An attack on April 2 targeted Tatarstan's Nizhnekamsk oil refinery, which has an annual production capacity of around 8 million tons, amounting to 2.6% of Russia's total annual oil-processing capacity. The refinery is over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Ukraine.

More recently, Ukraine confirmed it struck the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia's Rostov Oblast on June 5, and said the attack destroyed  1.5 million tons of oil and oil products worth $540 million.

Ukrainian drones also attacked four refineries in Russia's Krasnodar Krai and Astrakhan Oblast overnight on June 21, and an oil depot in Volgograd Oblast overnight on July 9.

As a result of repeated attacks, "the volume of Russian oil refining has decreased by about 17%," the unnamed NATO official said, as quoted by Ukrainska Pravda.

Strikes against Russian energy targets prompted criticism from U.S. officials in April. Washington said it does not support Ukraine's attacks on oil refineries, citing fears that it could threaten the global energy market.

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