War in Ukraine, day 710 Two Ukrainian attack drones struck the largest oil refinery in southern Russia on Saturday, a source in Kiev told Reuters, detailing the latest attack in a series of operations by long-range missiles that targeted Russian oil facilities.
The most important events of the last 24 hours:
- Moscow says there are at least five dead in the bombing, attributed to Ukrainians, in the occupied city of Lisichansk
- Ukrainian source: two drones hit the largest refinery in southern Russia
- The Kremlin accuses Washington of “provoking” Kiev to continue the war
- Dozens of people were detained in Moscow on Saturday after attending an anti-war rally
- Poland’s president said he did not know whether Ukraine would be able to regain control of Crimea
- Fire this morning at an oil refinery in southern Russia following a drone attack
- Ukraine shot down 14 Russian drones during a night attack
- The supreme military commander of Ukraine will be dismissed
- Ukraine has damaged at least three Russian military aircraft at the Belbek military airfield near Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, the spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force confirmed
- Russian authorities have placed Oleg Orlov, a veteran human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize laureate with the Memorial NGO, on the infamous “foreign agents” list
Update 21.15 – Moscow announces that there are at least five dead as a result of the bombing, attributed to the Ukrainians, in the occupied city of Lisichansk.
The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations reported on Saturday evening that the death toll from the Ukrainian bombing of a bakery in the occupied city of Lisichansk (east of the country) has risen to five. “The bodies of the victims have been recovered,” the Russian ministry said on Telegram, adding that rescue operations were continuing and that six people had been pulled alive from under the rubble.
Leonid Pasecinik, an official of the Russian-installed occupation authorities, said on Telegram that “there could be dozens of people under the rubble” and accused Ukrainian forces of deliberately targeting the bakery.
Update 19.38 – Two drones launched by the Ukrainians hit the largest refinery in southern Russia on Saturday. It is about the Volgograd oil refinery, claims a Ukrainian source contacted by Reuters.
The Russians confirmed the strike, which was followed by a fire, but said the refinery quickly resumed operations.
The Ukrainians have hit such targets before and the source claims that such attacks will continue.
The distance between the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border, and the southern Russian city of Volgograd is more than 600 kilometers.
Update 18.40 After US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland visited Ukraine, the Kremlin accused Washington of “provoking” Kiev to continue the war. This means that “the Americans are causing more pain to the Ukrainians, that the Americans are causing more Ukrainians to die,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The United States is directly involved in the conflict and is becoming more involved, Peskov said, who was confident that this “will not change the outcome of the war.”
Update 16.50 Dozens of people were detained in Moscow on Saturday. They were participating in a rally of Russian military wives, claims an association for human rights, quoted by Reuters. Among those detained are also journalists.
Dozens of people were detained by the police in the center of Moscow. People were participating in a protest rally against the mobilization of men for the war in Ukraine.
At least 27 people were detained while the wives of mobilized soldiers gathered at the Kremlin wall to lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument, OVD-Info reported.
Most of those detained are journalists, and later some people were released. Detentions were also made in other parts of the Russian capital. The Moscow prosecutor’s office announced that Saturday’s rally had no authorization, the source said.
The protest comes amid growing discontent in Russia over the mobilization of Russians to participate in the war. More and more women are demanding the return from the front of their mobilized husbands, sons and brothers based on a decree of President Vladimir Putin last September.
Update 15.30 Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that he is not sure that Ukraine will be able to regain control of the Crimean peninsula, but believes that the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk can be regained, comments that have drawn criticism from some politicians in the ruling coalition. Reuters Saturday.
Update 13.30 Poland’s president said he did not know whether Ukraine would be able to regain control of Crimea
Andrzej Duda, the president of Poland, said that he is not sure that Ukraine will be able to regain control of the Crimean peninsula, but believes that the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk will be able to be regained.
“I don’t know if (nrUkraine) will regain Crimea, but I think it will regain Donetsk and Luhansk”, is the statement of the president of Poland.
He added that the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, “is a special place (…) including for historical reasons. Because, in fact, if we look historically, it was in the hands of Russia most of the time”.
Andrzej Duda’s remarks were criticized by MPs of the pro-European governing coalition, which is in a different political camp from the president. Duda is an ally of the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which lost government in December after failing to put together a coalition following the loss of its majority in October legislative elections.
Update 11.41 Fire this morning at an oil refinery in southern Russia following a drone attack
A fire was extinguished today at the oil refinery in Volgograd, in southern Russia, following a drone attack, local authorities announced.
Russia and Ukraine have targeted each other’s energy infrastructure in attacks designed to disrupt supply lines and logistics and demoralize their adversary as they seek to gain an advantage in a nearly two-year conflict that shows no signs of ending .
Russia’s energy infrastructure has also been hit by technical failures in the past month, adding to uncertainty in global oil and gas markets already rocked by the Middle East conflict.
Volgograd Governor Andrei Bocharov said on the local administration’s Telegram channel that there were no casualties in the incident.
Oil producer Lukoil, which owns the refinery, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Update 10.24 Ukraine shot down 14 Russian drones during a night attack
Ukraine’s air defenses shot down nine of 14 Russian drones in an overnight strike that hit energy infrastructure in the city of Krivoi Rog, air force and regional officials said today.
It is the second drone attack in two days on the central Ukrainian city of Krivoi Rog, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said power plants were hit, causing thousands of people to lose power. In some districts, water supply and heating were also cut off, while temperatures were well below zero degrees. Hospitals have been switched to generators for electricity supply, he said.
The air force said in a statement that Iranian-made Shahed drones were shot down over four Ukrainian regions in the center and south of the country.
Update 08.06 The Supreme Military Command of Ukraine will be dismissed
Ukraine’s government has informed the White House that it plans to fire the country’s top military commander overseeing the war against Russian occupation forces, two sources said yesterday.
The move to oust General Valeri Zalujnii, who has clashed with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy over a range of issues, follows Ukraine’s counter-offensive last year, which failed to recapture significant swaths of Russian-held territory.
A source close to the Ukrainian president’s office said the two are embroiled in a dispute over a new military mobilization campaign, with the president opposing Valeri Zalujnyi’s proposal to call up 500,000 new troops.
However, the source added that the process to release Valeri Zalujnîi from the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has been suspended for now while the parties determine their next steps.
It is not clear how long this process will take, added the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The White House has not expressed a position on the plan to replace Valeri Zalujnîi, said a second well-informed source.
“The White House believes that it is up to Ukraine to make its own decisions regarding its personnel,” the source said.
Ukraine damaged at least three Russian military aircraft at the Belbek military airfield near Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yurii Ignat confirmed on February 2, Kyiv Independent reports.
Ukraine attacked the airfield on January 31 using Scalp/Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles, a military source told Ukrainska Pravda.
Also, Ukrainian Defense Minister Rustem Umerov has suspended a senior official while authorities investigate alleged corruption in the arms procurement file, his ministry announced on Friday, Reuters reports.
Umerov took office last year with a pledge to clean up corruption within the ministry as Ukraine’s Western partners sought to send more military aid to Kiev after Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022.
Toomas Nakhkur, who headed the Defense Ministry’s technical policy and weapons development department, has been suspended after being named an official suspect in an unspecified criminal case, the ministry wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said last week that it had uncovered a massive fraud by current and former servicemen as well as businessmen to embezzle about $40 million by securing advance payment for artillery shells that did not were never provided.
War in Ukraine, February 2, 2024 | The sinking of the warship “Ivanovets” by Ukraine, confirmed by Russian military bloggers
War in Ukraine, February 1, 2024 | Ukrainian forces announced that they destroyed a Russian ship from the Black Sea Fleet
War in Ukraine, January 31, 2024 | Zelensky “offered” a potential replacement to General Valery Zalujnyi at the head of the Ukrainian army
War in Ukraine, January 30, 2024 | European Union states have agreed to use money from Russian bank assets to rebuild Ukraine