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Massive Ukrainian drone strike hits 10 Russian regions over 24 hours, damages major oil refinery

Russian air defenses repelled a drone attack over Kursk earlier today, according to a report by regional governor Roman Starovoit. Taganrog Mayor Andrei Fateyev also announced a UAV attack on the city. Rostov and Kursk are the latest Russian regions to have come under Ukrainian drone attacks over the past 24 hours.

“Attention! State Emergency Situations Committee Taganrog reports a UAV attack. If possible, go down to the lower floors, to the basement. Find a place without windows, sit on the floor,” Fateyev wrote.

Later in the day, Vasily Golubev, the Governor of the Rostov Region, reported that multiple aerial targets were destroyed outside the city. “In Taganrog, the UAV attack was announced to be repelled. Aerial targets have been destroyed outside the city. The consequences on the ground are being determined by operational services,” he said.

Rostov is the tenth region in Russia to have been attacked by Ukrainian drones on March 12. Earlier, Russia’s Defense Ministry and regional governors reported that the Moscow, Leningrad, Belgorod, Bryansk, Orel, Tula, Kursk regions, as well as Nizhny Novgorod and Voronezh, were attacked by drones at night and in the morning.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that a drone flying toward the city was shot down in the Ramensky District southeast of the city. According to preliminary data, there were no casualties or damage. Authorities in other regions have also reported the absence of casualties.

In the Belgorod Region, seven villages were left without electricity after a drone attack, according to a statement from governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. According to him, a shell damaged a power line in the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka. In Shebekino, several windows were blown out in two apartment buildings.

Gladkov also confirmed that a drone strike on the Belgorod City Administration left two people injured. One woman suffered shrapnel wounds and another was concussed as a result of the attack.

In the morning of March 12, Russian air defense forces in the Belgorod Region shot down one Tochka-U missile and eight shells from an RM-70 Vampire multiple rocket launcher, according to a report from the Defense Ministry. There were no casualties or damage, according to Gladkov.

Two oil depots caught fire as a result of the strikes. There was a fire at the Lukoil oil depot in the town of Kstovo in the Nizhny Novgorod Region after a drone hit an oil distillation unit. The Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez processing unit was temporarily shut down “in connection with the incident,” Lukoil said. The facilty is the fourth largest refinery in Russia by refining volume. It accounts for about 11% of all gasoline produced in the country and refines 16-17 million tons of crude oil per year.

An oil depot also caught fire in the Orel Region — seventeen people were evacuated from nearby homes. Local authorities said there were no injuries.

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