Thursday, May 9, 2024

RU Proxy Reports ATACMS Hit On Luhansk Oil Depot; Why UKR Should Keep Striking RU Oil Refineries; UKR Launches Devastating Wave of Pinpoint Drone Strikes; RU Unlikely to Capture Chasiv Yar by Target Date; 120 C-Clashes on 7 Fronts; RU Loses: 970 Sold, 13 Tanks, 30 Art-Sys, All Missiles Launched at Kyiv Downed, LIVE UPDATES and LOTS MORE

Credit: Russian state media RiaNovosti 
Russian proxy reports ATACMS missile hit on Luhansk oil depot:
Power lines & gas pipelines damaged. At least 5 people reportedly injured.
The Kremlin-installed head of the occupied Luhansk Oblast, Leonid Pasechnik, claimed on 8 May that an oil depot in occupied region was struck by ATACMS missiles.
According to Pasechnik, at least five employees were injured and hospitalized. Power lines and high-pressure gas pipelines were damaged due to the attack.
“The overnight strike on an oil depot in Luhansk was allegedly carried out by Western-style ATACMS missiles,” Pasechnik claimed.
Ukrainian officials did not comment on the report.
Russia illegally established the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”)in 2014. From 13 April 2014 to 30 April 2018, Ukraine conducted an anti-terrorist operation in the Luhansk Oblast to stop Russian terrorism in the region. On 21 February 2022, the terrorist organization “LNR” was recognized by the Russian Federation as an “independent state,” and is used for further Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The strikes in Luhansk Oblast have occurred sometimes since Russia’s full-scale invasion. The latest one was on 13 April, when explosions were heard at a machine-building plant in occupied Luhansk, reportedly a Russian military equipment repair depot. --->READ MORE HERE
Why Ukraine Should Keep Striking Russian Oil Refineries:
Washington’s Fears About Energy Markets Are Misplaced
On January 19, a Ukrainian drone struck an oil depot in the town of Klintsy, in Russia’s western Bryansk region, setting four gasoline tanks on fire and igniting some 1.6 million gallons of oil. Later that week, another strike lit a fire at Rosneft’s oil refinery in Tuapse, a Russian city some 600 miles from Ukrainian-held territory. In March, Ukrainian drones hit four Russian refineries in two days. April began with a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s third-largest refinery, located deep in the region of Tatarstan, around 800 miles away. The month ended with strikes on facilities in two more Russian cities, Smolensk and Ryazan.
In all, Ukraine has launched at least 20 strikes on Russian refineries since October. Ukrainian security officials have indicated that the attacks’ objectives are to cut off fuel supplies to the Russian military and slash the export revenues that the Kremlin uses to fund its war effort. By the end of March, Ukraine had destroyed around 14 percent of Russia’s oil-refining capacity and forced the Russian government to introduce a six-month ban on gasoline exports. One of the world’s largest oil producers is now importing petrol.
But the Biden administration has criticized the attacks. In February, Vice President Kamala Harris urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to refrain from targeting Russian oil refineries out of concern that the strikes would drive up global oil prices. Echoing that sentiment, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned the Senate Armed Services Committee in mid-April that the “attacks could have a knock-on effect in terms of the global energy situation.” Instead of striking oil infrastructure, Austin told the committee, “Ukraine is better served in going after tactical and operational targets that can directly influence the current fight.”
Washington’s criticism is misplaced: attacks on oil refineries will not have the effect on global energy markets that U.S. officials fear. These s​trikes reduce Russia’s ability to turn its oil into usable products; they do not affect the volume of oil it can extract or export. In fact, with less domestic refining capacity, Russia will be forced to export more of its crude oil, not less, pushing global prices down rather than up. Indeed, Russian firms have already started selling more unrefined oil overseas. As long as they remain restricted to Russian refineries, the attacks are unlikely to raise the price of oil for Western consumers.
Yet they can still inflict pain inside Russia, where the price of refined oil products, such as gasoline and diesel, has begun to surge. The strikes are achieving the very objectives that Ukraine’s Western partners set but largely failed to meet through sanctions and a price cap on Russian oil: to degrade Russia’s financial and logistical ability to wage war while limiting broader damage to the global economy. Kyiv must take wins where it can, and a campaign to destroy Russia’s oil-refining capacity brings benefits to Ukraine with limited risk.
Ukraine has so far concentrated its attacks on Russian oil refineries, not oil fields or crude oil export infrastructure. The distinction is important. After oil is extracted from a well, it is transported through pipelines and other infrastructure to refineries, where it is converted into products to be distributed to end users. In 2023, Russia extracted an estimated 10.1 million barrels of oil per day. Of this, around 50 percent was exported to refineries abroad, and the remaining 50 percent was refined domestically, creating products such as gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, and chemical feedstocks. Half these refined products were consumed domestically, with a substantial proportion diverted to fuel the Russian war machine. Russia also sells refined oil products abroad—the country was responsible for around ten percent of the world’s seaborne exports in 2023—but most Western countries have already stopped importing refined Russian fuel. The top destinations for Russia’s refined oil products are Turkey, China, and Brazil, though Russia has also been selling fuel to North Korea, in violation of UN sanctions, in exchange for munitions. --->READ MORE HERE

Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++ Ukraine launches devastating wave of pinpoint drone strikes on Russian tanks and trenches+++++

+++++Russian forces unlikely to capture Chasiv Yar by their target date, says Ukrainian artillery brigade press officer+++++

+++++Russians attack on 7 fronts, 120 combat clashes recorded – Ukraine's General Staff report +++++

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+++++Ukrainian Air Defense Forces shoot down all air targets near Kyiv+++++

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