Ukraine Seeks to Cut Off Putin's Lifeblood With Attacks Inside Russia


Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  one month ago  •  3 comments

By:   Isabel van Brugen (Newsweek)

Ukraine Seeks to Cut Off Putin's Lifeblood With Attacks Inside Russia
Attacks on Russian oil and gas infrastructure have been ramped up in recent weeks, including on one of Russia's largest oil refineries.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By Isabel van Brugen 

Drone attacks on Russian oil hubs and refineries have been ramped up in recent weeks, endangering President Vladimir Putin's energy exports, which are the cornerstone of his country's economy.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, a suspected drone strike caused a huge blaze at a large export-oriented Rosneft-owned oil refinery in the southern Russian town of Tuapse on the Black Sea coast.

That incident marked the fourth suspected drone attack on Russian oil and gas infrastructure over the past week, according to the Moscow Times. Newsweek has contacted the foreign ministries of Ukraine and Russia for comment by email.

Vladimir Putin during a meeting with local businessmen on January 11, 2024, in Khabarovsk, Russia. Drone attacks on Russian oil hubs and refineries have ramped up in recent weeks.Vladimir Putin during a meeting with local businessmen on January 11, 2024, in Khabarovsk, Russia. Drone attacks on Russian oil hubs and refineries have ramped up in recent weeks.Contributor/Getty Images

Russia depends on its oil exports and energy industry, which make up some 30 percent of the country's budget revenues, and are crucial for the funding of the war in Ukraine. Russia is the world's third-largest producer of oil, accounting for over 12 percent of global crude oil production, according to Statista.

The energy industry is considered a crucial lifeline for Putin's economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions imposed in response to the invasion on Ukraine. When U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in March 2022, weeks into the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he said the move would target the Russian economy's "main artery."

"Problems at Russian oil refineries have become systemic," Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, said on X (formerly Twitter) on Thursday, shortly after the Tuapse blaze, which marked the latest significant targeting of Russia's energy infrastructure this month.

On January 18, Ukraine launched a drone attack on a St. Petersburg oil terminal, about 620 miles from the Ukrainian border. It marked the first time a drone had targeted Putin's home region, Leningrad, since the full-scale war in Ukraine began.

Another Ukrainian drone attack near the city of St. Petersburg on January 21 struck a major gas export terminal—a Novatek PJSC gas-condensate plant in the port Ust-Luga—causing a huge fire, and halting fuel supplies. Ust-Luga is Russia's largest Baltic port, and Ukraine's Security Service claimed responsibility for that attack, the Kyiv Post newspaper reported.

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Bloomberg said, citing industry data, that should Ukraine successfully strike Russia's two major oil terminals in the Baltic Sea, Ust-Luga and Primorsk, it could halt the export of 1.5 million barrels of oil per day, and could cause the country to lose billions. The amount of oil shipped by the two oil terminals daily accounted for more than 40 percent of Moscow's total seaborne crude exports on average from January to November 2023, the publication reported.

Gerashchenko noted there have been at least six such incidents in January so far. On January 9, a drone struck a tank at the Oryolnefteprodukt oil depot in Russia's Oryol region, he said.

On January 19, a small drone caused a large-scale fire at an oil depot in Klintsy, in the Bryansk region. The official said, citing experts, that the depot is an "important transit hub for transportation of fuel and lubricants for the needs of the Russian troops."

While attacks on Russia's energy infrastructure appear to have increased in intensity in recent weeks, some smaller incidents were reported last year.

Ukrainian partisans blew up Russian trains carrying fuel in October 2023, the National Resistance Center of Ukraine, which operates as an information outlet under the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reported at the time.

On X, the Tendar open-source intelligence channel said Thursday that "the strike against Russian oil facilities in Tuapse, Russia, only days after the successful strike against the Ust-Luga terminal, removes all doubt that we are dealing with a targeted effort to eliminate all major Russian oil and gas ports, so that they are rendered useless for any operations."

"This will be a big headache for the Russian war effort. The current attacks are still small in size, using a handful of drones, but already caused considerable damage," the user added. "When Ukraine starts mass-hitting those ports, then the Russian air defense will not be able to stop the outcome, even when destroying 99% of all drones."


jrDiscussion - desc
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JBB    one month ago


Professor Quiet
2  Ronin2    one month ago

Ukraine is trying to drag the rest of the world into their war.

Seems that retaking their own territory is not their top priority anymore.

Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  JBB  replied to  Ronin2 @2    one month ago



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