Ukraine has struck oil pipeline installations deep inside Russia with a series of drone attacks including on a station serving the vast Druzhba oil pipeline that sends Western Siberian crude to Europe, according to Russian media.
Ukrainian drone attacks inside Russia have been growing in intensity in recent weeks, and the New York Times reported that US intelligence believes Ukraine was behind a drone attack on the Kremlin earlier this month.
Ukraine has not publicly acknowledged launching attacks against targets inside Russia. The Ukrainian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment today.
In the Tver region, which lies just northwest of Moscow, two drones attacked a station that serves the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, one of the world's largest oil pipelines, the Kommersant newspaper said.
The Tver local council said that a drone had crashed near the village of Erokhino, around 500k from the border with Ukraine.
The Telegram channel Baza, which has good sources among Russia's security services, said the drones attacked a station serving the Druzhba pipeline.
Druzhba, built by the Soviet Union, has capacity to pump more than two million barrels per day but has been severely under-utilised after Europe sought to reduce its dependency on Russian energy after President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine last year.
Russia's oil pipeline operator Transneft said earlier this month that a filling point on Druzhba in a Russian region bordering Ukraine had been attacked.
In the Pskov region of Western Russia, two drones caused an explosion that damaged an oil pipeline's administrative building, local Governor Mikhail Vedernikov said. The incident occurred near the village of Litvinovo, less than 10km from Russia's border with Belarus.
"Provisionally, the building was damaged as a result of an attack by two unmanned aerial vehicles," Vedernikov said.
He said there were no casualties and that an operational group that would deliver final conclusions was working at the scene.
In a separate incident, a construction worker was killed near the border with Ukraine in the Kursk region due to shelling from Ukraine, the local governor said.
Reuters could not immediately verify the reported attacks.
Ukraine asks Germany for air-to-surface missiles - ministry
Ukraine has asked Berlin to provide it with Taurus air-to-surface missiles that have a range of in excess of 500km Germany's defence ministry said today.
"We have a received a request from the Ukrainian side in recent days," a ministry spokesman said, without providing further details.
The request comes as Ukraine prepares to launch a counteroffensive in an effort to wrestle back territory seized by Russia since Moscow invaded its neighbour in February 2022, sparking the biggest conflict on European soil since World War II.
The missiles, produced by a Germany-Swedish joint venture Taurus Systems, would allow Ukraine to strike well inside Russia with their range of more than 500km.
The United States and other Western countries providing arms to Ukraine have up to now been cautious on giving Kyiv weapons that could reach inside nuclear-armed Russia, potentially widening the conflict.
Previously seen as reticent on supplying weapons, Germany has become the second-biggest contributor of military assistance to Ukraine after the United States.
It is currently preparing its biggest-yet military aid package, including anti-missile systems, 30 additional Leopard 1 tanks, more than 100 armoured combat vehicles and more than 200 surveillance drones.
But it has so far been cautious on the issue of fighter jets and air-to-surface missiles.