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Ukraine behind airfield, oil refinery attack in Russia — Kyiv source claims

By AFP - Jul 10,2024 - Last updated at Jul 10,2024

Volunteers clear the rubble of a destroyed building following a rocket attack the day beofre, in Kyiv, on Tuesday, amid the Russian invasion in Ukraine (AFP photo)

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian drones targeted a military airfield, an oil refinery and substation in southern Russia, a defence source in Kyiv said on Tuesday, after Moscow reported an overnight aerial barrage.

Kyiv has stepped up cross border aerial attacks on Russia in recent months, attempting to damage energy infrastructure and the Kremlin's war chest by hurting oil revenues.

Russia has launched drone and missiles attacks that have crippled Ukrainian power plants and halved the country's generation capacity.

In an operation coordinated by Security Services of Ukraine and the country's military intelligence, drone spurred explosions at the Akhtyubinsk military airfield in Russia's Astrakhan region.

It also said there had been blasts at an electrical substation in the Rostov region and an oil depot in the southern Volgograd region.

The source added that Ukrainian forces would pursue more strikes on "Russian military facilities working for the war against Ukraine."

There was no response in Moscow to the specific claims.

The Russian defence ministry however had earlier said that its air defence systems had destroyed 38 Ukrainian drones in regions near the border between the two countries, including Rostov and Astrakhan.

Rostov's governor Vasily Golubev in comments to state-run agency TASS acknowledged an electric substation had been damaged in a drone attack, saying repairs would take three days.

And Astrakhan’s governor Igor Babushkin said Ukraine had launched a “massive attempt to attack targets with drones” in the north of the region, adding that the attack had been “successfully repelled”.

Both sides have used drones, including larger self-detonating craft with ranges stretching hundreds of kilometres extensively throughout the conflict, which began in February 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a major ground offensive on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region in May, an operation to create a buffer zone and push Ukrainian forces back to protect Russia’s border Belgorod region from shelling.

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