March 20, 2024

Ukraine’s Drone Strikes on Russian Oil Refineries Mark New Phase in War

Source: Bloomberg

By the middle of February, drone attacks had damaged five oil refineries. In the immediate aftermath, Russia banned gasoline exports from March 1 until Aug. 31 to ensure sufficient domestic supplies ahead of a seasonal uptick in demand.

“Ukraine’s leaders seem to feel that, even if they remain on the defensive, they need to be able to continue to inflict pain on Russia,” said Peter Schroeder, a former senior analyst on Russia at the US Central Intelligence Agency. What started out as a largely symbolic effort, notably last year’s drone attack on the Kremlin, has become “a concerted campaign to inflict damage on a strategic target.”

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“The campaign against Russia’s energy infrastructure shows that Kyiv can continue to inflict some pain,” said Schroeder, the former CIA analyst who is now an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. “But it is unlikely to have a strategic impact on the course of the war.”

Read the full story and more from Bloomberg.

Authors

  • Peter Schroeder

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    Peter Schroeder is an expert on Russian foreign and security policy, with nearly two decades of experience working on Russia and Eurasia in various roles in the Intelligence C...