Dozens of attack drones swarmed over west Russia on Wednesday to hit infrastructure targets in Kyiv’s most ambitious air assaults to date against its powerful eastern neighbor.

The Ukrainian robot planes aimed mostly at energy infrastructure and in some attacks struck hundreds of kilometers deep into Russia, in a second wave of two days of air raids.  

One of the most seriously hit targets appeared to be an oil refinery in the Ryazan region, more than 500 km inside Russia, where at least three Ukrainian explosives-toting drones crashed into the major oil-processing facility early on Wednesday morning, setting a major fire and injuring several people, officials said.

Multiple videos recorded from the ground by Russian social media users showed a drone buzzing over an already-burning refinery at low altitude.

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Screen grab of fire burning at a Ryazan oil refinery in Russia following a Ukrainian drone strike, Ukrainian information platform

Two drones appeared to strike in the vicinity of the refinery’s main cracking tower. One, diving at a steep angle, slammed into the structure directly, detonating in a powerful orange-red explosion.

Images showed flames from a major fire rising to the height of a three-story building. The attack hit primary petroleum products processing infrastructure owned by the energy company JSC Ryazannefteprodukt, local news reports said.

Explosions blew out windows in buildings adjacent to the refinery and damaged an outdoor market nearby, the reports said. Rifles firing on automatic are audible in some of the videos. Video showed drones flying serenely towards the refinery.

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Screen grab of oil refinery burning in the west Russian city Ryazan, published by the pro-Ukraine news website Igor Girkin.

A Kremlin Wednesday morning statement said Russian air defense units from late night Tuesday through Wednesday morning shot down at least 58 Ukrainian strike aircraft including 11 drones over Russia’s Belgorod Region, 8 over the Bryansk Region, 29 over the Voronezh Region, 8 over the Kursk Region, and a single robot plane each over the Ryazan and Leningrad Regions.

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If those numbers are confirmed, the Wednesday kamikaze drone wave was the biggest single-day attack launched by Ukraine against targets inside Russia, of the entire Russo-Ukraine war.

Ukraine’s national intelligence agency the SBU in a Wednesday statement took credit for attacks and said a total five oil refineries were attacked in two days of strikes.

“We are systematically implementing a step-by-step strategy to undermine the economic capacity of the Russian Federation. Our objective is to deprive the enemy of resources and reduce the flow of petroleum-based products, that the Russian Federation is using directly for war, for the murder of our citizens,” the SBU statement said in part.

The results of the air raids were “satisfactory,” the Ukrainian statement said.

Authorities in Russia’s northwestern Leningrad region said mobile air defense forces shot down a single drone heading towards the KINEF oil refinery, near the major city Petersburg. Governor Aleksandr Drozdenko in a statement said the refinery was undamaged and no one was hurt.

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Oil refinery in the Russian city Ryazan burns fiercely following strikes by Ukrainian drones. Kyiv Post screen grab from Russian social media video.

Ukrainian aircraft were sighted and possibly hit targets in the vicinity of the Novshakhtiskaya oil refinery in Russia’s southwestern Rostov region, and in Russia’s central Lipetsk region, official statements from those regions said.

Although Ukrainian strike planners appeared to have prioritized Russian oil production capacity in the Wednesday raids, Kyiv kamikaze aircraft hit other priority targets as well.

Three drones struck in the Buturlinovka district of Russia’s central Voronezh Region on Wednesday, knocking out power to parts of the city, officials said.  

Governor Aleksandr Gusev said power generation infrastructure had been damaged by an explosion, along with a home and a store. Authorities declared an air raid threat in effect and ordered schools to operate remotely so children could stay at home.

The independent Astra news agency reported a major Russia airfield four km from Voronezh was a possible target. Voronezh media was silent about possible damage to military targets.

Map published by the pro-Ukraine mil-blogger Misyagin showing the location of Wednesday’s drone strikes in Russia. According to the platform three major refineries and two airfields were hit.

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In the center of the west Russian city of Belgorod a robot plane flew into the local headquarters building for the national secret police the FSB and detonated. Images uploaded by passers-by showed a damaged facade, broken windows and smoke rising from the five-story building.  

Astra and the Ukrainian independent Unian news agencies, among others, published Russian social media images captured in Ryazan and Voronezh showing drones similar in appearance to a Chinese commercial aircraft called a Murgin-5 Pro, a drone used in past strikes by the Ukrainian military.

Rated by its manufacturer to be capable of staying in the air for seven hours at a speed of around 70 kph., the Murgin as designed lacks the range to reach some of the targets attacked by SBU drones on Wednesday. Ukrainian engineers have according to analysts probably modified the aircraft to carry 25 kg of explosives to targets up to 1,000 km from launch sites. 

Image released by Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff on Wednesday of an unexploded Ukrainian kamikaze drone in the vicinity of the Russian city Voronezh. The aircraft shows damage possibly from anti-aircraft fire on its left wing.

Overnight Monday-Tuesday, according to Kremlin reports, Ukrainian forces launched around 30-40 weapons including drones, artillery rockets and a ballistic missile. Targets included refining infrastructure, the power grid and air defenses.

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According to army statements from Russia’s western Belgorod region, along with a wave of drones, Ukrainian gunners on Tuesday launched eight RM-70 rockets and one Tochka-U missile at targets in the region.

Local office of Russia’s national secret police the FSB burns after a Wednesday morning Ukrainian drone strike in the west Russia city Belgorod. Social media image published by the Astra news agency.

The most damaging attack in the first wave of strikes appeared to hit the Norsi oil refinery outside the city of Nizhny Novgorod. News agencies reported a major fire cut production at the plant, responsible for six percent of all processed crude products in the Russian Federation, in half. The facility is about 900 km. away from probable Ukrainian launch sites.

Another Tuesday drone attack hit a production facility about 450 km miles east of Moscow, in one of the longest-ranged Ukrainian air raids into Russia of the entire war, with unreported results. A fuel depot in the city of Oryol, about 160 km east of the Russo-Ukrainian border, was hit on Tuesday morning as well.

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Comments (3)

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JOHN THE LOON FROM CANADA, WHERE ARE YOU?
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Well it's late in the day and I see John the loon from Canada has not chimed in on the top headline here at the Kyiv Post. What's the problem? Don't you want to boost your worthless contributions here at the Kyiv Post to >321 pages?

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MOTHER RUSSIA IS RUNNING OUT OF GAS AND DIESEL
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The picture of the downed drone could very well be an advanced decoy used to draw fire away and deplete the anti-aircraft defensive systems prior to the arrival of the actual flying bomb aircraft.
The UK Ministry of Defense has reported Russia as a whole is suffering from a lack of motor vehicle fuels including diesel and gasoline. Ukraine is taking the fight to mother Russia.
Good for them.
So do I sound like a troll to you dumbshits? Just because you idiots thing Trump and Republicans are an enemy of Ukraine, I am a Russian orc troll? You folks, and most especially you John the loon from Canada are disrespectful, shameless, arrogant fucked up fools. Go ahead with your chicken clucking in the barnyard. It's what you do best.

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Gregc
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Great news keep hitting their oil. This also caused serious problems for Hitler when he could not get oil supplies.

GREGC IS TOP SHELF WHEN IT COMES TO COMMENTORS AT THE KYIV POST
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@Gregc, The movie, "The Battle of the Bulge", a historical drama bore that fact out.

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