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12 Apr, 2024 06:45

Putin explains strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities

The Russian military conducted a wave of attacks on targets across the country on Thursday
Putin explains strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities

Russia has been forced to repel attacks on its energy facilities in recent months and must retaliate, President Vladimir Putin told his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, during talks in Moscow on Thursday.

Since Kiev launched its drone campaign against Russian fuel sites, Moscow has conducted several large-scale strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, which the Defense Ministry described as retaliatory.

The latest attack was confirmed on Thursday. The ministry stated that Russian forces unleashed a wave of high-precision strikes involving long-range air- and sea-based weapons and drones on energy and oil facilities across Ukraine, disrupting the work of defense-oriented enterprises and degrading military production and logistics for Kiev’s frontline units. Russia insists that the attacks never target civilians.

“First of all, we assume that this is how we affect the defense industry of Ukraine, and affect it directly,” Putin said, noting that the strikes on energy facilities in Ukraine are part of the process of “demilitarization.”

He stressed that Russia “did not conduct any strikes” during the winter for humanitarian reasons. “We did not want to leave social institutions, hospitals, and so on without power, but after a series of strikes on our energy facilities, we were forced to respond,” the president said, adding that Moscow is ready to engage in talks.

Lukashenko replied that Kiev is provoking Russia into conducting these strikes. Moscow first targeted Ukrainian energy infrastructure in the autumn of 2022, after Russia’s Crimean Bridge was bombed that October.

Since January, Ukraine has launched numerous long-range attacks on Russian energy facilities, including oil depots and refineries, using kamikaze drones. The Guardian reported earlier this month, citing the country’s military intelligence, that these tactics are used due to the fact that Kiev has realized that it cannot defeat Russia on the battlefield.

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