Russian oil refinery partially suspends operations after drone attack, as thermal energy plants are damaged in Ukraine

A Russian oil refinery in the southern Krasnodar region was impacted by a suspected Ukrainian drone attack on Saturday, according to local officials.

Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said Kyiv had launched the drones in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Russian state media outlet TASS reported that the oil refinery, in Slavyansk-on-Kuban in Krasnodar Krai, had partially suspended operations, citing Eduard Trudnev, security director for the Slavyansk ECO Group, which runs the facility.

Trudnev said work at the plant had been “partially suspended” after 10 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) flew into the refinery, causing a fire to break out.

“The presence of hidden damage is possible,” said Trudnev.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that Kyiv had launched 66 drones to attack the Krasnodar region, but all were intercepted.

Kondratyev said there were no casualties due to the refinery fire.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, four thermal energy plants were “severely damaged” after Russian attacks overnight, according to a statement from DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company.

The DTEK statement added that “at this moment, power engineers are trying to eliminate the consequences of the attack.”

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko posted on Facebook that “facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Lviv regions were attacked.”

A power engineer at one of the facilities suffered a concussion, Halushchenko said.

Serhii Lysak, head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, said in an update on Telegram that the region had experienced a “massive attack.”

Although air defenses intercepted 13 missiles in Dnipro, Kryvyi Rih and Pavlohrad districts, energy facilities were damaged in Dnipro and Kryvyi Rih districts, triggering fires and injuring a 39-year-old man. Lysak also said there were “interruptions in the water supply in the Kryvyi Rih district.”

Svitlana Onyshchuk, head of the Ivano-Frankivsk regional military administration, said on Telegram on Saturday that a “critical infrastructure facility” in the Carpathian region was struck, causing a fire that has since been put out.

DTEK said that its thermal power plants have been attacked more than 170 times since the beginning of the war.

Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, said on Saturday that Russia had attacked Ukraine overnight with “34 air-, land-, and sea-launched missiles,” with 21 of those missiles intercepted.

Hospitals evacuated

On Friday, patients at two Kyiv hospitals were evacuated after Belarus claimed soldiers were sheltering within, prompting fears in Ukraine of a possible attack on the facilities.

A video surfaced online showing the head of the Belarusian KGB security service alleging the two medical facilities were housing soldiers.

Belarusian KGB head Ivan Tertel claimed during a speech on Thursday that Ukrainian fighters were “hiding behind the backs of children,” and provided the addresses of the two hospitals located in northeast Kyiv. One of them is a children’s hospital.

“The enemy has practically announced its strike” and “even named the addresses,” Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in response, calling it “a provocation used as a pretext for a strike on our social critical infrastructure.”

Fears of a potential attack prompted authorities urgently to start moving patients to other medical facilities in the Ukrainian capital.

“This is an absolute lie and provocation of the enemy” aimed to justify strikes at the social infrastructure of the capital, the Kyiv city administration said in a statement.

Videos shared online showed medical personnel hurrying to move patients and equipment to ambulances that were awaiting to receive them.

By Friday evening, all patients were successfully moved to other medical facilities, Klitschko said, thanking the doctors, technical staff and ambulance workers for their “prompt and well-coordinated work.”

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) also denounced the claim that soldiers were based at the hospitals, calling it “a manifestation of information and psychological special operations that play into the hands of Russia.”

Ukrainian authorities are yet to say whether the urgent transfer has resulted in complications for any of the patients.

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