An undated photo of Gazprom Neft’s oil refinery in Omsk, Russia.

Ukraine says it executed its farthest drone strike yet, hitting a Russian oil refinery 930 miles away.Ukraine’s Security Service claimed the attack on Wednesday.The effectiveness of the strikes is debated. Some argue they put pressure on Russia’s oil sector.

Ukraine’s latest aerial attack on Russian soil is its farthest one yet, Ukrainska Pravda reported, with officials saying a drone traveled 930 miles to strike an oil refinery far inside Russia’s borders.

Unnamed sources within Ukraine’s Security Service told the outlet that one of its drones struck a Gazprom refinery in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan on Wednesday.

The region’s head, Radiy Khabirov, confirmed smoke was coming from the refinery but said it was operating as normal, according to Russian state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti.

Footage of the aftermath of the apparent attack was also posted on the prominent pro-Russian Telegram account Baza.

The strike, which has not been independently confirmed, would represent a distance record in Ukraine’s ever-more ambitious series of drone strikes on Russian energy facilities.

In early April, Ukraine demonstrated its drones’ increasing reach after Russian officials reported strikes 620 miles inside their country.

But the ferocious campaign — launched in earnest in January — has seemingly struck a nerve with the US.

Reports claim that the White House has reached out to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to signal its concern that hitting Russia’s oil production will destabilize global energy prices.

Michael Liebreich, founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, along with energy analyst Lauri Myllyvirta and Sam Winter-Levy, highlighted in a Foreign Affairs article this week how Ukraine’s strikes could hurt Russia without sending global oil prices soaring.

The attacks are largely striking Russia’s refining capacity, rather than its oil fields, they said, which actually forces Russia to export crude oil, likely bringing prices down globally.

The strikes have also led to a surge in the price of refined oil products within Russia itself, they argued.

These are some of the exact areas where the West’s lackluster sanctions have failed to bite.

But there’s some skepticism around the effectiveness of the attacks.

Carnegie scholar Sergey Vakulenko wrote in April that even if Ukraine took out every refinery within its reach, Russia would likely still be able to procure enough oil for its own uses.

Meanwhile, several experts told Business Insider last month that Ukraine would do well to ignore the US’ counsel.

Ann Marie Dailey, a geopolitical strategist at the RAND Corporation, told BI that although the impact won’t be immediate, “consistently putting pressure on Russia’s oil sector would have a significant impact on Russia’s ability to fight this war.”

Russian officials routinely downplay the impact of the strikes. But there are some indicators that the pain is trickling through: Russia has announced a six-month gasoline export ban, and Ukraine claims that its attacks have reduced Russian oil production and processing by 12%.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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