Russia says Ukrainian drone attacks disrupt electricity

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Ukrainian drone attacks have damaged electricity and gas lines in a Russian village, officials say.
Ukrainian drone attacks have damaged electricity and gas lines in a Russian village, officials say.

Ukraine has launched 35 drones at targets across Russia that sparked a brief fire at an oil refinery, took aim at Moscow and disrupted electricity supplies in border areas, Russian authorities say, on the last day of its presidential election.

Russia has accused Ukraine of election sabotage with days of strikes on the country’s infrastructure, one of the most sweeping air operations on Russian territory since President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of neighbouring Ukraine two years ago.

Putin, all but certain to win re-election, has vowed to punish Ukraine for the attacks.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy thanked his military and intelligence agencies for new “long-range capabilities” in his nightly video address on Saturday without mentioning the reported intensified attacks by his country’s forces.

The Russian defence ministry wrote on the Telegram messaging app on Sunday that 17 drones were destroyed over the southern Russian region of Krasnodar, four over the Moscow region and the rest over six other regions.

“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.

The fire at the Slavyansk refinery in Krasnodar was extinguished and there were no casualties as a result of the fire although preliminary information indicated one person had died of a heart attack, the administration said.

Roman Siniagovskyi, head of the Slavyansk administrative district, said on Telegram refinery workers had been removed and there was no threat to nearby populated areas from the incident.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

Ukraine’s Ukrainska Pravda newspaper cited a Ukrainian intelligence source as saying officials considered the drone raid a success because a large fire broke out near the crude distillation units which were the primary target.

The Slavyansk refinery, 70km north of Krasnodar, processes about 4.5 million metric tonnes of crude a year, producing fuel mainly for exports, but also sells some petrol on the domestic market.

A Ukrainian intelligence source told Reuters on Sunday that long-range Ukrainian attack drones launched by the SBU domestic security service had hit 12 Russian oil refineries during the war so far.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin said there were no casualties or damage reported from the drones shot down over three districts near the capital.

North of Moscow, four drones were destroyed over the Yaroslavl region, with no damage or injuries reported, Governor Mikhail Yevrayev said on Telegram.

In the border region of Belgorod, an attack by four Ukraine-launched drones damaged electricity and gas lines in one village, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said.

Russia’s defence ministry said Russian forces also shot down 12 rockets launched from Ukraine towards the Belgorod region on Sunday.

As Russia was facing attacks from Ukraine, the military in Kyiv said on Sunday that Russian air attacks had damaged agricultural enterprises and destroyed several industrial buildings in the Black Sea port of Odesa overnight.

Russia’s defence ministry also said on Sunday that Russian troops had recaptured the village of Myrne in the southern Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia.

There was initially no comment from the Ukrainian side.

The village has long been marked as contested on maps by Ukrainian military observers.

The front line between Ukrainian and Russian troops around the village has shifted several times since Russia launched its full-scale military invasion more than two years ago.

Russian troops captured the village in May 2022 and the Ukrainian military was able to retake it again in early 2023.

More than 400 inhabitants lived in Myrne before the war.

with DPA

Reuters