VOLGOGRAD, Russia – A fire erupted at an oil refinery in Volgograd, southern Russia, after a drone strike, local authorities reported. The Lukoil site, located approximately 200 miles from the border with Ukraine, was targeted in the attack, sparking a blaze. The incident occurred as there were reports of increased targeting of energy facilities in Russia by Ukraine.
According to Andrey Bocharov, the regional governor of Volgograd, a drone attack was repelled by Russian air defenses and electronic warfare (EW) systems overnight on Friday. The drone strike resulted in a fire at the Volgograd oil refinery, as videos circulated on social media purporting to show the blast in the night sky over the city.
Ukrainian internal affairs adviser Anton Gerashchenko claimed on social media that the refinery is the largest producer of petroleum products in the Russian Southern Federal District, boasting a capacity of 14.8 million tons. Additionally, footage of the flames at the facility was shared online, with the statement that part of the refinery would be out of operation for some time.
The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry stated that the fire affected an area of approximately 3,200 square feet, but was quickly brought under control with no reported casualties. Furthermore, there have been increased instances of drone strikes on Russian energy infrastructure, with Ukraine often not claiming direct responsibility.
In a separate incident, a drone caused an explosion at the Nevsky Mazut refinery in St. Petersburg, raising questions about the origin of the attack. The recent attacks have targeted oil facilities in various regions of Russia, leading to concerns about the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The attacks on energy facilities in Russia have drawn attention to the potential ramifications of the ongoing conflict, with experts weighing in on the developments. As the situation continues to unfold, both Russia and Ukraine are grappling with the impacts of the strikes, highlighting the heightened tensions between the two nations.