Bad News for Putin: Ukraine's Drone Assaults Disrupt Russian Oil Supply

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.19 - 2024 11:13 AM CET

Photo: Screenshot
Photo: Screenshot
Ukrainian drone strikes cripple Russia's oil refining, causing fuel prices to skyrocket.

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Ukrainian drone attacks have significantly disrupted Russia's oil refining capacity, leading to a notable increase in domestic fuel prices.

According to a US Department of Defense report, these attacks, occurring in early 2024, have impacted 14% of Russia’s refining ability, causing a ripple effect across the country's economy.

Sharp Rise in Fuel Prices

The Pentagon’s assessment, as highlighted by the Defense Intelligence Agency and reported by Bloomberg, revealed that the reduction in refining capacity led to a 20-30% increase in domestic fuel prices by mid-March.

This price surge prompted Russia to halt gasoline exports for six months starting in March, prioritize domestic fuel needs, and seek imports from Belarus and Kazakhstan.

"To mitigate the impact of these strikes, Russia banned gasoline exports for six months starting in March, began importing refined products from Belarus, planned to import from Kazakhstan, and prioritised shipments of petroleum products by Russian Railways, as opposed to other means of transportation," the report stated.

Strategic Attacks Amidst Criticism

The drone attacks targeted key energy facilities, including the Novatek PJSC’s Ust-Luga plant on January 21 and the Novocherkassk power plant on March 24.

These strikes are part of Ukraine's broader strategy to weaken Russia's fuel reserves and reduce export revenues critical to its military operations.

Despite the strategic intent behind these attacks, the United States has voiced concerns about their broader implications.

The Pentagon warns that such actions could destabilize global oil prices, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing conflict.

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