Ukraine appears to show ability to strike far inside Russia

  • A third Russian airport was hit in a drone attack
  • Ukraine’s Zelensky met with troops near the Eastern Front
  • Oil price cap gives G7 leverage over Russia – US official

Dec 7 (Reuters) – A third Russian airfield was set ablaze by a drone strike, a day after Ukraine demonstrated an apparent new capability to penetrate hundreds of kilometers into Russia with attacks on two air bases.

Authorities in the Russian city of Kursk, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of the Ukrainian border, released images of black smoke billowing over an airfield after the latest strike on Tuesday. The governor said an oil storage tank caught fire but no one was injured.

On Monday, Russia said it had been shot down by Soviet-era drones hundreds of kilometers from Ukraine — at Engels Air Base, home to Russia’s strategic bomber fleet, and in Ryazan, a few hours from Moscow.

Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the attacks but celebrated them nonetheless.

Late Tuesday night, sirens sounded over the area of ​​Engels airfield, Russian state-run news agencies reported, citing Yevgeny Shapolsky, first deputy of the Engels district administration.

In Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated his country’s determination to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself while it neither encourages nor enables Ukrainians to attack inside Russia. .

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The Russian Ministry of Defense said that three soldiers were killed in the attack in Ryazan. Although the attacks struck military targets, it described them as terrorism and said they were aimed at disabling its long-range aircraft.

Ukraine has never publicly accepted responsibility for attacks inside Russia. When asked about the attacks, Defense Minister Oleskyi Reznikov repeated a long-running joke, blaming carelessness with cigarettes. “Very often Russians smoke in places where smoking is prohibited,” he said.

The damage to the warships also caused grumbling among Russian military bloggers, whose social media posts can provide a window into the mood in Russia during the war.

‘Leverage and Control’

At least 20 oil tankers queuing up from Turkey to cross from Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean face longer delays as operators added ahead of the G7 price cap on Russian oil, industry sources said. Turkey is racing to comply with new insurance regulations.

A group official said the disruption in tanker traffic was not the result of a price ceiling for Russian oil agreed by the G7 nations and Australia.

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A price cap of $60 a barrel was imposed on Monday above the current price of Urals crude from Russia, the world’s second largest oil exporter.

The G7 countries and Australia will be busy in the coming weeks setting two more price cap levels on Russian refined oil products that will take effect by February 5, a US Treasury official told Reuters.

“I think the point is that we have all the leverage and all the control when we’ve been able to set the $60 limit,” the official said. “Any adjustment will be in the interest of the G7 and in the interest of Ukraine, it will be in the interest of the world economy and not in the interest of Russia.”

Zelensky with the troops

Meanwhile on the battlefields of eastern, northeastern and southern Ukraine, Russian forces continued shelling towns and villages, Ukraine’s military said late Tuesday.

Aleksandr Kulamzin, the mayor of the Russian-founded city, said on his Telegram channel that six people were killed after Donetsk came under rocket and artillery fire.

“Look what they’ve done,” said a resident named Irina, pointing to the apartment building where her flat was destroyed. “People live there. People! Where do you fire? Go to the fields and fight each other, not here. How many people are already dying.”

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Dmytro Zyvitsky, governor of the Sumy region on the Russian border, said Russian forces fired 226 shells at seven communities during the day, injuring several people.

War crimes investigators are probing the deaths of hundreds of civilians since the start of the nearly 10-month conflict. Russia has denied targeting civilians in Ukraine during a special operation to rid it of dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited troops near the front lines in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday.

Addressing troops at the presidential palace in Kiev later, Zelensky said he had spent the day with troops in Donbas, the theater of the heaviest fighting, and in the Kharkiv region, where Ukrainians have retaken much of the territory from Russian forces. .

“Thousands of Ukrainians have given their lives so that the day will come when not a single occupying soldier will remain on our land and when all our people will be free,” Zelensky, dressed in his trademark khaki green, told the gathering.

Reporting by Reuters Bureau; Written by Grant McCool; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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