Ukraine should keep pressure up on Russia’s oil refining, expert says

In response to Russian air strikes on Ukrainian power plants, Ukraine should keep attacking Russia’s oil refineries, Oleksandr Danylyuk, a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), said in an interview with NV Radio on June 3.

“Russia's strategy of attacking Ukrainian energy facilities, besides clearly being a war crime, causes immense problems for Ukrainian society and economy,” said Danylyuk.

“We are attempting to respond symmetrically by striking oil refineries, transfer stations, and port infrastructure. We need to escalate these efforts as well.”

At the same time, the academic reiterated the importance of maintaining moral high ground and targeting facilities that are not strictly civilian infrastructure.

“However, considering the nature of Russia's actions, we might need to slightly expand these parameters,” he added.

Read also: Ukraine knocks out 15% of Russia’s oil refining capacity — report

Since late January, Ukraine has been regularly launching long-range drone strikes on Russian oil refineries. These attacks have put a substantial dent—between 12% and 17%, according to various estimates—in Russia’s oil refining output.

On April 30, Politico reported that due to the drone strike campaign, Russia was running out of gasoline reserves. Diesel prices for Russian consumers increased by nearly 10% in a week, and gasoline prices have risen by 20% since the beginning of 2024.

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