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Key oil depot hit in occupied Luhansk’s Rovenky

Explosions rocked an oil depot in Russian-occupied Rovenky town, over 110 km from Ukraine’s front lines. An alleged Ukrainian ATACMS attack caused massive fire at the facility.
Fire at an oil depot in Russian-occupied Rovenky, Luhansk Oblast, early on 11 May 2024 after an alleged ATACMS strike late on 10 May. Screenshots: various footage from social media and Russian news agencies.
Key oil depot hit in occupied Luhansk’s Rovenky

Late on 10 May, a series of explosions rocked an oil depot in the Russian-occupied town of Rovenky in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk oblast, according to reports from Russian propaganda outlets and pro-Ukrainian Telegram channels.

The town of Rovenky has been under Russian occupation since 2014, and lies over 110 km from Ukraine’s current front lines. Since 2014, Russia has been actively using the local oil depot located next to the railway to store POL (petroleum, oil, and lubricants) for its troops deployed and stationed in occupied Luhansk Oblast.

Rovenky on the war map showing situation as of 10 May 2024. Map: deepstatemap

Local sources stated there were at least three explosions around 22:00, after which the skies were illuminated by the ensuing blaze. Residents asserted the target was a fuel depot facility in Rovenky.

Then witnesses on social media reported a massive fire erupting at the local oil depot in Russian-occupied Rovenky after the explosions.

Later, Leonid Pasechnik, the head of Russia’s occupation administration in Luhansk Oblast, blamed Ukraine for the attack. He claimed the strike started a fire at the Rovenky oil depot and allegedly damaged nearby houses, ostensibly killing one person and injuring six others among “oil depot workers and local residents.”

Rovenky oil depot. Photo: Google Map

Subsequently, videos surfaced online appearing to show the moment of the explosions as well as footage from the burning oil depot premises in Rovenky.

Russian media outlets alleged the strike was carried out using ATACMS missiles, which have a range capable of reaching Rovenky.

The previous Ukrainian attack on the Rovenky oil depot occurred a year ago, when a UAV hit a fuel tank. Earlier, Ukrainian forces hit the depot allegedly with a Tochka-U missile on 26 February 2022, the second day of the all-out war, and later on 1 July 2022.

Recently, Ukraine has intensified its campaign against Russian fuel storage facilities crucial for military logistics in occupied areas and Russia. Additionally, since the beginning of this year, Ukraine has expanded its targeting to include Russian oil processing facilities.

On 8 May, a Ukrainian attack destroyed at least three fuel tanks in occupied Luhansk. On 9 May, Ukrainian forces hit an oil depot in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai not far from occupied Crimea. On 10 May, drones targeted an oil refinery in Russia’s Kaluga Oblast.

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