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Russian oil refinery near Ukraine says it was hit by drone assault

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The refinery’s administration says operations had been suspended after a drone assault focused infrastructure.

A drone assault has hit a significant Russian oil refinery near the border with Ukraine, the plant’s administration stated, sending a ball of flame and black smoke billowing into the sky and prompting the suspension of operations.

Officials on the Novoshakhtinsk oil refinery in Russia’s Rostov area stated the primary drone attacked at 8:40am (05:40GMT), hitting a crude distillation unit, triggering a blast and ball of fireplace.

The second assault, at 9:23am, focused crude oil reservoirs on the refinery, the most important provider of oil merchandise in southern Russia, however brought about no hearth, in line with plant administration. No one was reported injured.

Russian areas bordering Ukraine have reported assaults and shelling after Moscow despatched its troops into its neighbour on February 24 for what it nonetheless calls a “special military operation”.

The refinery is in southwestern Russia, simply 8km (5 miles) from the border with Ukraine.

“As a result of terrorist actions from the Western border of the Rostov region, two unmanned aerial vehicles struck at the technological facilities of Novoshakhtinsk,” an announcement from the plant stated.

“Staff have been evacuated and technological equipment has been stopped to assess the damage.”

There was no fast remark from Ukrainian officers on the alleged assault.

Rostov’s Governor Vasily Golubev stated the oil refinery suspended operations. He stated fragments of two drones had been discovered on the refinery.

Footage posted on social media appeared to point out a drone flying in direction of the refinery, earlier than a big ball of flame rose up. Al Jazeera was not in a position to confirm the authenticity of the video.

The refinery, which began operations in 2009, has an annual capability of as much as 7.5 million tonnes.

Russia’s vitality ministry stated the fireplace had not affected gasoline and diesel provides to shoppers in southern Russia.

Wednesday’s alleged assault on the refinery follows a collection of explosions and fires in western Russia amid Moscow’s struggle in Ukraine.

Russia is investigating the reason for a big hearth that erupted at an oil storage facility within the metropolis of Bryansk, 154km (96 miles) northeast of the border with Ukraine, in late April.

Several different explosions and fires hit refineries, oil depots, and an ammunition storage facility. Ukraine has not formally taken duty for the incidents. Some Ukrainian media have claimed they’re a results of Ukrainian assaults.

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