Russia facing fuel problem over Ukrainian drone attacks - Politico

Russia facing fuel problem over Ukrainian drone attacks - Politico

Ukraine is taking out oil refineries inside Russia, cratering Moscow’s supplies and sending local prices soaring.

That's according to a Politico article entitled Putin's fuel problem: How Ukraine is sapping Russia’s diesel and gasoline," Ukrinform reports,

"A wave of Ukrainian drone strikes on oil refineries deep inside Russia has left the Kremlin racing to defend its own territory while still waging war on its neighbor. But the attacks have also achieved the unthinkable — leaving the world's largest petrostate running low on petrol," the article reads.

According to the Russian government's figures, diesel prices for Russian consumers have skyrocketed, rising almost 10 percent in the past week alone. Petrol costs have also hit a six-month high, up more than 20 percent from the start of the year as supply tightens and more and more facilities are forced to suspend production.

Read also: Drones attack oil refinery, military airfield in Russia's Kuban region - media

According to the news outlet, last Wednesday, two fuel storage facilities owned by Russian energy giant Rosneft, around 500 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, were severely damaged by drones as fuel went up in smoke. More than a dozen refineries across nine Russian regions have been similarly hit this year.

"It's like a mosquito — when you can't find it, can't kill it and it keeps coming back night after night, you’re going to be exhausted," Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence officer and NATO planner, said.

According to him, the strikes are "having an effect because they're destroying oil infrastructure and other critical national infrastructure."

As a result of the drone strikes, Moscow has scaled back its fuel exports to near-historic lows, shipping just over 712,000 tonnes of diesel and gasoil last week, compared to more than 844,000 during the same week in 2023.

"It's both a political and military problem for Moscow. As well as being essential for Russia's war effort, cheap fuel is a key part of President Vladimir Putin's offer to the public, an antidote to lagging wages and a weak ruble," the article reads.

The material also provides expert assessments according to which fuel prices in Russia are unlikely to go down anytime soon - "and the country may even need to import gasoline from reserves stored in neighboring Belarus."

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