September 20

Ukraine oil refinery fire sparked by drone attack, Russia downs four UAVs

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Ukraine and Russia launched waves of drone attacks overnight with reports of a fire at an oil refinery in Ukraine’s Poltava region and four Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being shot down over two regions in Russia’s west, officials say.

A Russian drone hit the Kremenchuk oil refinery in the central Poltava region of Ukraine, causing a fire, the regional governor, Dmytro Lunin, said on Wednesday.

“Last night, Russians repeatedly attacked Poltava region. Our air defence system did a good job against enemy UAVs,” he said on the Telegram messaging app.

The General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said air defence systems shot down 17 of 24 drones that Russia launched against targets in Ukraine.

The Kremenchuk refinery has come under repeated Russian air raids since Moscow launched its invasion last year.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities reported on Wednesday that their air defences intercepted four Ukrainian drones.

The Ukrainian drones were shot down over Russia’s Belgorod region which borders Ukraine and the Oryol region, which is closer to Moscow, the Russian Ministry of Defence said, with local officials reporting no damage or casualties.

The aircraft-type drones were shot down between 9pm (18:00 GMT on Tuesday) and 11:45pm (20:45 GMT), the ministry said on Telegram.

A drone attack was also suspected in a fire involving a large fuel storage tank early on Wednesday morning near an airport in the Russian Black Sea beach resort of Sochi.

Veniamin Kondratyev, governor of the Krasnodar region, said preliminary information indicated that there were no casualties.

“The reasons for the incident are being investigated,” Kondratyev said on Telegram.

A Russian-language online news portal reported that a drone could have been involved in the fire that engulfed the 1,200 tonnes of fuel, noting that a loud explosion was heard before the fuel tank erupted in flames.

Kyiv has in recent months ramped up drone and missile attacks deep inside Russia and Russian-controlled territory following a promise by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that his forces would bring the war in Ukraine back to Russia.

A refinery hit in Ukraine’s Poltava as Kyiv and Moscow trade drone attacks, four UAVs shot down over western Russia.

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