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A Russian aircraft has hit an oil refinery in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine owned by Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft, The Kyiv Independent reported on Wednesday.
“A Russian aircraft has fired upon an oil refinery in Lysychansk, Luhansk Oblast, which is owned by Russian oil company Rosneft. According to Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai, firefighters are fighting a blaze at the site,” The Kyiv Independent reports.
The Russians fired at the plant in Lysychansk from aircraft, Haidai said on his Telegram channel.
Newsweek, which reported The Kyiv Independent’s report, noted it is still trying to independently verify the claim of the attack.
The region of Luhansk, together with the Donetsk region, were recognized by Russia as two republics two days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic (known as the DNR and LNR, respectively, using their Russian acronyms) in a late-night speech at the Kremlin on February 21.
The recognition of the two separatist regions triggered the first condemnation and sanctions against Russia, which have been escalating since Putin invaded Ukraine a month ago.
Germany suspended on February 22 the Russia-led natural gas pipeline project Nord Stream 2 after Putin recognized the two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and deployed “peacekeeping” troops there.
A day later, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which led to several rounds of sanctions against Russian banks, businesses, and oligarchs. Sanctions from the European Union have so far spared Russian energy exports, but companies, traders, ship owners, and insurers in the West have started to avoid dealing with Russian energy products. This will likely lead to a large-scale global oil shortage as of next month, the International Energy Agency said last week, estimating that “3 million bpd of Russian oil output could be shut in as sanctions take hold and buyers shun exports.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com