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Ukraine strikes oil facility in Donbass – authorities

The attack on Lugansk reportedly involved several US-supplied long-range ATACMS missiles

Ukrainian forces have launched several missiles at civilian infrastructure in the Russian city of Lugansk, injuring at least five people and causing a large blaze at an oil depot, regional head Leonid Pasechnik has said.

The late Tuesday night attack was likely carried out using surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS) supplied by Washington, the official added. Five employees of the facility were hospitalized with moderate injuries, as emergency services were working at the scene to tackle the blaze.

“Ukraine is compensating its defeats on the front lines by shelling civilian targets,” Pasechnik said, adding that the attack also damaged a high-pressure gas pipeline and power lines, causing a partial blackout in the area.

The Russian Defense Ministry has yet to confirm the type of projectiles used in the strike. Over the past week, Russian air defenses intercepted at least 15 ATACMS missiles, according to Moscow, as Kiev increasingly targeted Russian oil refineries, energy facilities and other infrastructure in recent months.

In late April, US officials confirmed earlier media reports that the Pentagon had secretly shipped an unspecified number of long-range missiles to Ukraine as part of an arms package announced by President Joe Biden in mid-March.

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FILE PHOTO: US soldiers conduct live-fire testing of early versions of the Army Tactical Missile System.
Russia shoots down four US-made long-range missiles – MOD

The “goal” of supplying Kiev with ATACMS was to put more pressure on Crimea and allow Ukrainian forces to target the peninsula “more effectively,” the New York Times reported at a time, citing an unnamed Pentagon official.

Moscow said the provision of long-range missiles would only spell “more problems” for Kiev. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov insisted that the use of ATACMS would not impact the outcome of the conflict, or prevent Russia from achieving its security goals.

May 08, 2024 at 05:38AM

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