Ukraine Ignores White House, Launches Assault on Russia

( – Ukraine has used drones to carry out multiple attacks on Russia’s oil refineries recently, ignoring calls from the United States to reel in its assaults on the Kremlin’s oil industry.

Russian air defenses intercepted six of Ukraine’s uncrewed aerial vehicles. Four were intercepted close to the border with Ukraine over the Voronezh and Belgorod provinces, and another two were southwest of Moscow over the Smolensk province. In July 2023, when Ukraine struck buildings in Moscow, the White House stressed that it did not support the attacks on targets inside of Russia, which were also carried out using drones. President Vladimir Putin’s administration branded the 2023 drone bombings “attacks of terror.”

Smolensk Governor Vasily Anokhin posted on Telegram that the region was being attacked heavily by Kyiv’s UAVs on April 24, adding that fires erupted around the city of Smolensk due to attacks on energy and fuel infrastructure. Anokhin later clarified that there were no casualties. According to the Ukrainian SBU security service, kamikaze drones hit two oil depots in the region.

In March, the U.S. secretly sent long-range Army Tactical Missile Systems to Ukraine, which have already been utilized twice on targets deep within Russia, likewise contradicting the White House’s official position on Kyiv’s attacks on the neighboring state. The advanced drones employed by Ukrainian forces are capable of reaching targets in Siberia. U.S. officials continue to criticize the attacks, particularly those on Russia’s oil infrastructure, on the grounds that they could heavily impact energy prices across the globe.

Russia’s bombardment of Ukraine has long targeted its power stations and has impacted the country to such a degree that Ukraine’s biggest energy company has lost 80% of its generating capacity. The bombing of the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant on the outskirts of Kyiv in April 2024 will also affect the energy supply of the E.U., which relied on the country’s underground gas reserves last winter to avoid shortages.

As a general rule, Kyiv does not take responsibility for attacks carried out over the border in Russia. Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Olha Stefanishyna, argued that sites housing oil infrastructure in Russia were valid military targets. Though the West sanctions Russian oil exports, they are still heavily relied on in the global market. The U.S. has also advised Kyiv against targeting Russian oil refineries out of fear of harsh retaliation.

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