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Russia’s Fuel Prices Surge as Ukrainian Strikes Target Oil Refineries

Ukraine’s wave of drone strikes on oil refineries in Russia is leaving it low on petrol and increasing the price of fuel.

Diesel prices for Russian consumers have skyrocketed, rising nearly 10 percent in the past week alone, according to government data. Petrol prices have risen by 20% from the start of the year, as a result of more oil refineries suspending their production.

Last Wednesday, April 24, two Rosneft fuel storages were struck, around 500 kilometers from the border with Ukraine, causing fuel to catch fire.

“It’s like a mosquito — when you can’t find it, can’t kill it and it keeps coming back night after night, you’re going to be exhausted, It’s a very good way of taking the pressure off from the front lines,” said Philip Ingram, a former British military intelligence officer and NATO planner.

Moscow’s fuel exports were forced to drop, shipping only 712,000 tons of diesel and gasoil last week compared to more than 844,000 during the same week in 2023.

More than a dozen oil refineries in nine Russian regions have been hit this year, and officials in Kyiv say the industry is a legitimate military target.

The rise in Russia’s fuel prices poses an issue for the government since cheap fuel is a key part of President Vladimir Putin’s offer to the public, taking attention away from lagging wages and a weak ruble.

The strikes are “having an effect because they’re destroying oil infrastructure and other critical national infrastructure,” Ingram, the former British military intelligence officer, said. The strategy, he predicted, would “be studied in officer training academies in decades to come.”

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