Drones Attack Seven Russian Regions, Strikes Hit Two Oil Depots

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On Tuesday night, authorities in seven Russian regions reported drone strikes. In Orel and Nizhny Novgorod regions, they said drone strikes had started fires at oil depots located there. In Nizhny Novgorod region, according to Governor Gleb Nikitin drones attacked a “fuel and energy facility” in Kstovo industrial zone. One of the oil refining units caught fire. Lukoil, in its turn, said about the “incident”, due to which the operation of the Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez processing unit was stopped. Another “fuel and energy facility” had been hit by an UAV in Orel region, Governor Andrei Klychkov said. “Special services are working to localize the fire. There are no casualties. Please be vigilant,” the head of the region messaged in Telegram. According to preliminary data, a drone “hit a tank with oil products at an oil depot in Orel, causing it to catch fire,” RIA Novosti reported, citing emergency services. Kyiv does not officially confirm its involvement in the strikes on Russian fuel facilities, but does not dispute it, except in particularly high-profile cases. Meanwhile, the UK Ministry of Defense reports in its latest intelligence update on 9 March that, following a series of Ukrainian strikes, “Russia’s refining capacity was likely to be temporarily reduced ... and is likely to take ‘longer’ (than usual) to make repairs”. The Russian Defense Ministry said that on the night of 12 March, air defense forces had destroyed 11 drones over Kursk region, seven over Belgorod region; two more drones had been shot down over Moscow and Orel regions, and one each over Leningrad, Bryansk and Tula regions. The ministry also claims that in the morning the AFU fired eight rockets from the Vampire MLRS and one missile from the Tochka-U launcher into the Belgorod region.