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Ukraine launches drone attacks on Russian energy infrastructure, special services source says

Ukraine launched attacks on eight Russian regions with long-range drones in the early hours of Saturday morning, targeting a fuel depot and power substations, according to a statement from a Ukrainian special services source.

The nighttime attacks, which were confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry, come amid a renewed effort by Moscow to disable Ukraine's energy infrastructure and plunge its citizens into darkness, using the freezing temperatures as a weapon of war.

“The Russian Defense Ministry is complaining that dozens of Ukrainian drones have appeared in about eight regions – Belgorod, Bryansk, Kursk, Tula, Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga regions and even the Moscow region. At least three power substations and a fuel storage facility were damaged and caught fire,” the source said, adding that the attacks were part of a joint operation by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Defense Intelligence and the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces. the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The source added that “the energy infrastructure powering Russian military-industrial facilities was the target. Some areas faced problems with power and water supply after the attacks.”

A video shared on social media showed the consequences of drone attacks on a fuel depot in the Russian region of Smolensk, which caught fire in the early hours of the morning.

“At around 2 am this morning, there was an attempted attack by Ukrainian UAVs on a fuel and energy facility in the Kardymovsky district. Air defense forces shot down aerial devices. Information about the victims is being clarified,” Smolensk regional governor Vasiliy Anokhin wrote in Telegram.

According to Anokhin, falling UAV debris caused a fire in a fuel and lubricant tank, and teams from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations were responding to the fire.

In a separate post, the governor of Smolensk reported that air defenses repelled yet another UAV attack on the regional center on Saturday morning.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported intercepting a drone over the Smolensk region and said its air defense systems intercepted or destroyed 50 Ukrainian drones over the past day.

Aleksandr Bogomaz, governor of Russia's southwestern Bryansk region, reported on Saturday that “a downed Ukrainian UAV caused a fire at an energy infrastructure facility.”

“Fire and rescue units and emergency teams from PJSC Rosseti are operating on site, ensuring uninterrupted power supply to consumers,” Bogomaz said in a Telegram update on Saturday.

In recent months, Ukraine has stepped up drone strikes deep within Russian territory, targeting energy infrastructure such as oil refineries and terminals, as well as airfields. Following attacks on three refineries in mid-March, a Ukrainian defense source told CNN that Ukraine is “implementing a well-planned strategy to diminish Russian economic potential”.

The attacks were made possible by the use of drones with greater range and more advanced capabilities, some of which have even begun to integrate a basic form of artificial intelligence to help them navigate and avoid being jammed, said a source close to the US drone program. Ukraine. CNN .

News of the drone strikes comes at a time when the situation on Ukraine's eastern front has “significantly worsened”, top military commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said a few days ago – a message supported by video evidence, analysts and interviews conducted by CNN with Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukrainians waited Saturday, anticipating a highly anticipated vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that could finally unlock nearly $61 billion in military aid for the country as frontline troops withdraw from key terrain or are attacked in the air as they advanced. try to keep important cities.

Of that total, about $23 billion would be used to replenish U.S. weapons, arsenals and facilities, and more than $11 billion would fund current U.S. military operations in the region. Nearly $14 billion included in the bill would help Ukraine purchase advanced weapons systems and other defense equipment.

Source: CNN Brasil

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