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Drone attack sets Russian refinery ablaze —governor

By AFP - Feb 03,2024 - Last updated at Feb 03,2024

This aerial photograph taken on Thursday shows a residential building destroyed by shelling in Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine (AFP photo)

MOSCOW — A fire broke out overnight at a major Russian oil refinery in the southwestern Volgograd region, authorities said on Saturday, after a drone strike claimed by Ukraine.

Kyiv has launched drone attacks on Russia for months during Moscow's almost two-year offensive, and a Ukrainian defence source told AFP Kyiv's SBU security service had "organised" the attack.

"Last night, the air defence and electronic jamming repelled an attack by drones in the Volgograd region's Kalachyovsky and Zakanalye districts," Governor Andrei Bocharov said on Telegram.

"A fire started at the Volgograd refinery after one of the downed drones fell," he said, adding that the fire service had already brought the blaze under control by the start of the morning.

No one was hurt, Bocharov said.

Kyiv, which used not to claim such attacks, has changed tactic and now publicly takes responsibility.

"The fire at the refinery in Volgograd was 'organised' by SBU drones," a source in the Ukrainain defence sector told AFP.

Industry giant Lukoil, which operates the refinery, says on its website it is "the biggest producer of oil products in the federal South district" which covers eight regions of southwest Russia.

The plant is located south of the city of Volgograd.

Local media V1 published photos it said showed an overnight explosion during the attack.

Local resident told V1 they heard two explosions.

The Russian army said air defence electronic jamming had brought down or intercepted four drones in the region of Belgorod which borders Ukraine, two in Volgograd and one more in the Rostov-on-Don area.


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