Report: US asked Ukraine multiple times to halt attacks on Russian oil refineries

The Washington Post claims that the US has asked Ukraine multiple times to stop targeting Russian oil refineries with drones, citing anonymous American officials. However, Kiev has reportedly ignored those requests, straining relations with its top foreign provider of military assistance, according to the newspaper.

Since January, Ukraine has launched a series of long-range attacks on Russian energy facilities, including oil depots and refineries, using kamikaze drones. Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has argued that the strikes have been meant to impress Kiev’s Western backers amid a lack of progress on the front line.

As tensions widen between Washington and Kiev over the latter’s tactics, Ukrainian officials are becoming exasperated at the US’ inability to provide its partner with additional weaponry. This is due to the fact that Republicans in Congress have, for months, been blocking President Joe Biden’s foreign aid package, that envisages, among other things, $60 billion for Ukraine.

Last Wednesday, Celeste Wallander, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, told lawmakers that the “strikes that we have seen against Russian energy sources have not significantly altered Russia’s ability to prosecute the war.” She added that the “Russians have been able to rapidly repair the facilities that were struck.”

Last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine’s recent tactics have forced Russia to respond by targeting Kiev’s energy and oil facilities. He explained that these strikes have helped degrade the Ukrainian defense industry’s capabilities.