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Ukrainian Drone Strike Disrupts Key Russian Steel Plant

Ukrainian Drone Strike Disrupts Key Russian Steel Plant
A ladle with molten steel in the smelting shop at the Oskol electrometallurgical plant, in Stary Oskol, Russia. Source: Getty images

On July 1st, Ukrainian forces launched a drone attack, targeting power substations in Russia’s Belgorod region. According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (HUR), the drone attack disrupted operations at the critical Ugarov Oskol Electrometallurgical Plant located in the neighboring Voronezh region.

The drone strike was carried out by a joint effort between HUR and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, inflicting damage on two main substations in Belgorod, near the towns of Neznamovo and Volokonovskoye. This resulted in a complete power outage at the Ugarov Oskol plant, forcing the shutdown of all its electric arc furnaces. Restarting these furnaces, with potentially frozen metal inside, could take months.

“Some of the plant’s employees believe that the furnaces will have to be replaced with new ones. Considering that the plant was built by German specialists using German technology, it will likely be difficult to restart the plant’s operations without their participation,” according to the reports of the workers of the plant.

The Ugarov Oskol plant, is the country’s only complete-cycle metallurgical enterprise. It plays a crucial role in Russia’s military-industrial complex. The facility produces high-quality steel, including specialized alloys used by the automotive and machine-building industries. Several main Russian military suppliers, including GAZ, UAZ, and KamAZ, reportedly rely on the Ugarov Oskol plant’s products.

The potential long-term impact on the Ugarov Oskol plant highlights the evolving tactics and targeting strategies employed by Ukraine in the ongoing conflict.

Earlier, Russia claimed power cuts hit the regions of Voronezh and Kursk on July 1st, following a drone attack.

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