Moment Ukrainian kamikaze drone hits massive oil refinery in Volgograd in first airstrike on Russian city since Hitler 81 years ago

A major oil refinery was hit by two huge explosions in a kamikaze drone strike in Volgograd – the first air attack on the city, formerly known as Stalingrad, since Hitler’s failed invasion 81 years ago.

The moment of the suspected Ukrainian attack at 04:49 was captured on dramatic footage.

The strike at the Lukoil facility came the day after the city marked the 80th anniversary of the end of the epic Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

The Volgograd oil refinery in southern Russia is one of the country’s largest, and was upgraded shortly before the war at a cost of £105m.

It produces petrol, diesel and aviation fuel, and fuel for ships.

The moment of the suspected Ukrainian attack at 04:49 was captured on dramatic footage

The moment of the suspected Ukrainian attack at 04:49 was captured on dramatic footage

The strike at the Lukoil facility came the day after the city marked the 80th anniversary of the end of the epic Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

The strike at the Lukoil facility came the day after the city marked the 80th anniversary of the end of the epic Battle of Stalingrad in World War II.

The Volgograd oil refinery in southern Russia is one of the country's largest, producing petrol, diesel and aviation fuel

The Volgograd oil refinery in southern Russia is one of the country’s largest, producing petrol, diesel and aviation fuel

The inferno from the explosion covered about 3,230 square feet, Volgograd Region Governor Andrei Bocharov said (Photo: a map of the oil refinery at Volgograd)

The inferno from the explosion covered about 3,230 square feet, Volgograd Region Governor Andrei Bocharov said (Photo: a map of the oil refinery at Volgograd)

‘I woke up at 4.20am to a very strong explosion, then about half an hour later there was a second one, but not as strong as the first,’ said a local resident.

The inferno from the explosion covered about 3,230 square feet, Volgograd Region Governor Andrei Bocharov said.

He later reported: ‘The fire has been contained, the open fire has been extinguished. There are no casualties.’

The Volgograd attack is the latest in a recent series of strikes by Ukraine on oil and gas facilities vital to warlord Vladimir Putin’s economy.

Volgograd is about 400 miles from the nearest Ukrainian-held territory.

The strike represents a failure for Russian air defenses.

Lukoil is Russia’s second largest oil company and has close Kremlin links.

In other overnight attacks, the Russian military and civilian authorities reported that drones were shot down over the Voronezh, Belgorod and Rostov regions.

Russia and Ukraine have targeted each other’s energy infrastructure in strikes designed to disrupt supply lines and logistics and demoralize their adversary as they seek to gain the upper hand in a nearly two-year-old conflict that shows no sign of ending. .

Russia’s energy infrastructure has also been hit by technical failures in the past month, adding to uncertainty in global oil and gas markets already rocked by the conflict in the Middle East.

The governor of Volgograd, Andrey Bocharov, said on the local administration’s Telegram channel that there were no casualties due to the incident.

‘Due to the fall of a crashed UAV, a fire broke out at the Volgograd oil refinery. Fire and rescue forces quickly got to work – the fire was detected immediately, the open fire was extinguished. There are no casualties,” he said.

Oil producer Lukoil, which owns the refinery, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Volgograd Oil Refinery on the Volga River has capacity to process 14.8 million metric tons (nearly 300,000 barrels per day) of crude oil per year.

Another oil refinery owned by Lukoil, NORSI, also experienced outages in January. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that repairs to the refinery will take at least a month or a month and a half.

Last week, Putin lost another general in his war against Ukraine.

Lt. Gen. Alexander Tatarenko, 63

Lt. Gen. Alexander Tatarenko, 63

Lt Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63, was the most senior of ten military personnel killed in a suspected Storm Shadow missile attack

Lt Gen Alexander Tatarenko (63) was the most senior of ten military personnel killed in a suspected Storm Shadow missile attack on the Belbek air base in occupied Crimea.

He was commander of the base used for strikes on Ukraine and to consolidate Russia’s grip on the Black Sea peninsula.

Russia did not officially announce Tatarenko’s death in the attack two days ago – but several pro-war Russian military Telegram channels confirmed the initial reports.

Spy Dossier channel reported that ‘seven British-French made Storm Shadow/SCALP ALCMs were launched to the airfield.

“Four were shot down by air defense forces, three hit the target.”

In particular, between 17:31 and 17:42 on Wednesday, two missiles hit the command post of the 38th Fighter Regiment (military unit 80159, Belbek).

“Another one hit the airfield comm point.”

“Ten military personnel died as a result of the strike,” the report said.

“Among the dead is the commander of the aviation squadron of the fighter regiment, Alexander Tatarenko.”

Suspected Storm Shadow missile attack on Belbek military base

Suspected Storm Shadow missile attack on Belbek military base

Suspected Storm Shadow missile attack on Belbek military base in annexed Crimea

Suspected Storm Shadow missile attack on Belbek military base in annexed Crimea

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 - first from left - is believed to have been killed during the late January 2024 missile attack on Belbek military airfield in Crimea

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 – first from left – is believed to have been killed during the late January 2024 missile attack on Belbek military airfield in Crimea

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 - second from left

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 – second from left

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 - marked - is believed to have been killed during the late January 2024 missile attack on Belbek military airfield in Crimea

Lt-Gen Alexander Tatarenko, 63 – marked – is believed to have been killed during the late January 2024 missile attack on Belbek military airfield in Crimea

Lt. Gen. Alexander Tatarenko with his wife

Lt. Gen. Alexander Tatarenko with his wife

Crimean Wind – a Ukrainian channel – reported: ‘Ten Russian military personnel were liquidated, including the commander of the aviation squadron, Lieutenant General Alexander Tatarenko.’

The missiles came through a new route, over the sea, rather than over land, reports said.

Tatarenko is believed to be the 13th Russian general killed in the 23-month war.

He was married and is believed to have retired before the war, but returned to service after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He graduated from the Stavropol Higher Military Aviation School for Air Defense Pilots and Navigators in 1981, from the Military Academy of Air Defense in 1994, and from the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces in 2008.

He was a pilot on Su-17, Su-27 and An-26 aircraft before his retirement.

In late November, Russia lost Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, 45, deputy commander of the 14th Army Corps.

According to reports, he was killed by an exploded Russian mine.