Drone attack damages Russian oil pipeline facility hundreds of miles from Ukraine

The Ukrainian military learning to fly drones earlier in May - Paula Bronstein/Getty
The Ukrainian military learning to fly drones earlier in May - Paula Bronstein/Getty

Ukrainian drones attacked and damaged oil pipeline infrastructure hundreds of miles inside Russia on Saturday, Russian officials said.

One of the pipelines reportedly attacked was the Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline in the Tver province of northwest Russia, 300 miles from the border with Ukraine.

“There were no casualties. Emergency services are currently working at the scene,” the Tver government said in a statement.

Russia has accused Ukraine of hitting oil pipelines previously, including the Druzhba pipeline, which sends oil to Europe.

Officials in the Pskov region of Russia, which borders Latvia and Estonia, said that an administrative building for a local pipeline had also been damaged in a separate drone attack early on Saturday morning.

"Provisionally, the building was damaged as a result of an attack by two unmanned aerial vehicles," said Mikhail Vedernikov, the Pskov governor.

Ukraine’s Western allies have become increasingly concerned by Kyiv’s enthusiasm to attack targets deeper inside Russia at a time when it is asking for more sophisticated Western weapons with longer ranges.

This week, far-right Russians allied with Ukraine attacked several border villages in Russia using US-made vehicles. Several Russian regions now also report regular artillery and drone attacks.

US intelligence has also said that it believes Ukraine was behind a drone attack on the Kremlin at the start of May.

Ukraine has had to promise its Western backers that it won’t hit targets inside Russia with Western equipment,  but Vasyl Maliuk, the head of Ukraine’s security service, appeared to admit that Ukraine had been behind an attack in October on a bridge that connects Crimea with mainland Russia.

“It was a logistical route and we were obliged to cut off the enemy,” he told a Ukrainian Youtube channel in an interview. “Certain measures were carried out.”

The attack was called a “red line” by Vladimir Putin and he threatened a major retaliation.

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