Reuters confirmed the previously reported information, referring to unnamed sources in the Ukraine’s Security Service, that the attack was successful and similar attacks will continue. Local officials in Russia said there was a fire overnight at the export-oriented unit, but it was extinguished.
“The vacuum unit was on fire. According to preliminary information, there were neither casualties nor injured,” Sergei Boiko, the head of the Tuapse district said.
The Ukrainian source said the SBU security service hit the refinery with drones and would continue attacking fuel facilities. “The SBU strikes deep into the Russian Federation and continues attacks on facilities which are not only important for the Russian economy, but also provide fuel for the enemy troops,” the source told Reuters.
This is at least the fourth Ukrainian attack on Russian energy facilities over the past week. In particular, the largest attack on a Baltic Sea fuel export terminal damaged the fuel terminals of the port of Ust-Luga, hindering the shipping of oil products from there.
Explosions and a fire broke out early on 21 January at the Ust-Luga natural gas terminal operated by the Russian company Novatek. The Ust-Luga port handles crude oil and liquefied natural gas exports. This became the first Ukrainian drone attack to reach as far as the St. Petersburg region.
The recently hit Tuapse plant was important for exports in the Black Sea region, processing 9.378 million tons of crude oil in 2023, producing 3.306 million tons of gasoil and 3.123 million tons of fuel oil.
Russian oil exports are the main source of income for the Russian war budget. EU and G7 sanctions in general failed to curb Russian oil exports given that Russian continued its exports through India as an intermediary worldwide, including to the EU, at record volumes.
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