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29 Jan, 2024 10:39

Drone attack prevented at Russian oil plant – governor

A UAV spotted over a refinery in Yaroslavl Region was reportedly brought down using electronic warfare systems
Drone attack prevented at Russian oil plant – governor

A drone was used to target an oil refinery in Russia’s Yaroslavl Region on Monday, according to local governor Mikhail Evraev. The attack was prevented using electronic warfare systems that successfully brought the UAV down, the official added.

The incident marks the first time since the start of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict that an oil refinery has been targeted in the Yaroslavl region, which lies to the north-east of Moscow, and some 700 kilometers from the country’s border with Ukraine.

In a message on his official Telegram channel, Evraev said that the incident had occurred at the Slavneft-YANOS oil refinery  - one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country -noting that law enforcement agencies and special services were currently working at the scene.

The governor added that the attempted attack did not result in any casualties or fire.

In a later post, Evraev also stated that explosives technicians from Russia’s Federal Security Service had successfully neutralized the warhead on the UAV, declaring that there was no longer any threat to the safety of the facility and that it’s now operating as normal.

Telegram channels Mash, Baza and Astra have posted photos of what is claimed to be the downed airplane-type UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) that was brought down near the oil refinery. They have also reported that local residents heard a loud bang in the area at the time when the attempted attack is said to have occurred. 

According to local news outlets, the refinery has now been cordoned off by emergency services and law enforcement, and an ambulance, a demining vehicle and traffic police are on standby near the facility.

The incident in Yaroslavl is the latest in a series of attempted attacks on Russian energy facilities that began after the start of the Ukraine conflict. Earlier this month, a Novatek natural gas processing terminal based in the port of Ust-Luga in Russia’s Leningrad Region, nearly 1,000 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, caught fire as a result of an “external impact,” according to the company’s press office.

Local newspaper Fontanka reported at the time that at least two drones had been spotted flying towards St Petersburg before the terminal caught fire. Several days before that, Russia’s Defense Ministry also reported downing a Ukrainian drone near the city.