“The vacuum installation on the territory of the refinery is on fire. According to available information, there are no victims,” Sergey Boyko, head of Tuapse municipality, said in a statement early Thursday. Five hours later, the fire that spread over 200 square meters was extinguished, he said.
“The SBU strikes deep into Russia and continues attacks on objects that are not only important for the Russian economy, but also provide fuel for enemy troops. There will be many surprises later, systematic work is ongoing,” the Ukrainian official told POLITICO.
The attack happened four days after SBU drones bombarded the Russian Novatek energy company oil refinery in Ust-Luga, a port city in the Leningrad region — one of two major Russian oil export hubs on the Baltic Sea coast, some 1,200 km north of the Ukrainian border — forcing it to halt its operations.
Bad weather conditions and Ukrainian drone strikes caused sea deliveries of crude oil from Russia to drop to the lowest level in almost two months, Bloomberg reported.
“This strongly affects Russian exports, which means that it reduces the resources that the Russian Federation can spend on war,” the Ukrainian law enforcement official, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the sensitive topic, told POLITICO.
Officially, the SBU rarely takes responsibility for strikes deep into Russia. But in an interview with POLITICO in December, SBU head Vasyl Malyuk promised that, while the war reaches a stalemate in Ukraine, Kyiv’s spies will intensify intelligence operations and sabotage in Russia, bringing the war closer to the Kremlin.