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    Monday, March 18, 2024

    Ukrainian Drones Attack Refinery, Target Moscow, Disrupt Power, Russia says

    Ukraine sent 35 drones to attack different places in Russia, causing a small fire at an oil refinery. Those were targeting Moscow and disrupting electricity supplies near the border, according to Russia’s statement on March 17, the final day of its presidential election.

    On March 16, the strikes were targeted at plants in Russia’s Samara region, more than 1,000 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. A fire broke out at a processing unit in the Rosneft oil refinery in Syzran, as reported by RIA Novosti quoting Governor Dmitry Azarov. This refinery can process up to 8.5 million barrels of petroleum products annually, which is around 170,000 barrels daily.

    Moscow claimed that Kyiv was trying to disrupt the election by attacking Russian infrastructure for several days, marking one of the largest air attacks on Russia since President Vladimir Putin started the war with Ukraine two years ago.

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a video address on March 16, thanked his military forces and intelligence for new "long-range capabilities". However, he did not mention the attacks.

    Russian forces shot down 17 drones over Krasnodar in southern Russia, four over Moscow and others in six different regions, the Russian defence ministry said in Telegram on March 17.

    "The drones were neutralised, but a fire broke out as a result of the fall of one of the devices," the operational headquarters of the Krasnodar region in southern Russia said on Telegram.

    Putin wins yet another election

    Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin, in power since 1999, has won by a large margin in Russia's election. He said the win proved Russia was correct in opposing the West and sending soldiers to Ukraine.

    Putin stated that this outcome should warn Western leaders that they would have to deal with a more confident Russia for a long time, in both war and peace.

    "When we are consolidated - no matter who wants to intimidate us, suppress us - nobody has ever succeeded in history. They have not succeeded now, and they will not succeed ever in the future," Putin said.

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