Ukraine Claims Three Oil Refinery Strikes inside Russia as Moscow Says Naval Attack Thwarted

Ukrainian rescuers work at the site of a glide bomb attack on a private building in Vilkhivka village near Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 19 June 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
Ukrainian rescuers work at the site of a glide bomb attack on a private building in Vilkhivka village near Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 19 June 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
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Ukraine Claims Three Oil Refinery Strikes inside Russia as Moscow Says Naval Attack Thwarted

Ukrainian rescuers work at the site of a glide bomb attack on a private building in Vilkhivka village near Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 19 June 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)
Ukrainian rescuers work at the site of a glide bomb attack on a private building in Vilkhivka village near Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine, 19 June 2024, amid the Russian invasion. (EPA)

The Ukrainian military launched a wave of drones that struck three oil refineries inside southern Russia overnight, a security official said Friday, as Ukraine tries to disrupt the infrastructure that supplies the Russian military.

Russia said its air defenses shot down scores of drones, including a half dozen it said were launching a naval attack in the Black Sea.

The Ukrainian security official said his country's forces also struck a drone-launching facility within Russia, but declined to say how that target was attacked. The operations involved the armed forces and the Ukrainian Security Service, SBU, the official said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to announce the information publicly.

SBU drones struck oil refineries in the Russian locations of Afipsky, Ilsky, and Krasnodar, which supply fuel for ships in Russia's Black Sea Fleet, the official said.

Ukranian forces also struck a drone facility in the southern Russia town of Yeysk where Iranian-designed Shahed drones were stored and launched, the official said. A “series of explosions” were recorded there, the official said.

Russian regional authorities in the Krasnodar region said four people were injured, including oil refinery workers, as a result of drone strikes.

Despite improvements in Russia’s air defenses, Ukraine has continued its campaign to strike oil infrastructure across the border, hitting multiple sites in 2024, as part of a wider effort to disrupt Russia’s military supplies.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Friday that its air defenses had downed 114 Ukrainian drones It said that 70 drones were shot down in Crimea and the Black Sea, 43 in the Krasnodar region and one in the Volgograd region, further east.

Russian warplanes also destroyed six Ukrainian naval drones in the Black Sea early Friday, the ministry said, responding to an incident that appeared to be one of the largest drone attacks of its type in recent months.

Veniamin Kondratyev, the governor of the Krasnodar region, said that Ukrainian drones also damaged a boiler room near a bus station in the city of Krasnodar, killing a worker.



Internet Hasn't Been Restored in Bangladesh despite Apparent Calm Following Deadly Protests

Bangladeshi soldiers stand guard at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, amid the anti-quota protests in Dhaka on July 21, 2024. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)
Bangladeshi soldiers stand guard at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, amid the anti-quota protests in Dhaka on July 21, 2024. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)
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Internet Hasn't Been Restored in Bangladesh despite Apparent Calm Following Deadly Protests

Bangladeshi soldiers stand guard at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, amid the anti-quota protests in Dhaka on July 21, 2024. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)
Bangladeshi soldiers stand guard at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, amid the anti-quota protests in Dhaka on July 21, 2024. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)

Internet and mobile data services are still down despite apparent calm in Bangladesh following a verdict that scaled back a controversial quota system for government jobs after weeks of relentless protests that turned deadly.
The government has also declared Monday a public holiday, with only essential services running. This comes after a curfew with a shoot-on-sight order was installed days earlier and military personnel could be seen patrolling the capital and other areas, The Associated Press said.
The South Asian country witnessed clashes between the police and mainly student protesters demanding an end to a quota that reserved 30% of government jobs for relatives of veterans who fought in Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971.
The violence has killed more than a hundred people, according to at least four local newspapers. Authorities have not so far shared official figures for deaths. On Thursday, communications were cut off as tensions escalated.
There was no immediate violence reported on Monday morning after the Supreme Court ordered the veterans’ quota to be cut to 5%, with 93% of jobs allocated on merit, the day before. The remaining 2% will be set aside for members of ethnic minorities as well as transgender and disabled people.
On Sunday night, some student protesters urged the government to restore internet services. Hasnat Abdullah, a coordinator of the Anti-Discrimination Student Movement, told the Associated Press that they were withdrawing their calls for a complete shutdown, which they attempted to impose last week.
“But we are issuing an ultimatum for 48 hours to stop the digital crackdown and restore internet connectivity,” he said, adding that security officials deployed at various universities should be withdrawn, student dormitories reopened and steps taken so students can return to their campuses safely. Abdullah also said they wanted the government to end the curfew and ensure the country was back to normal within two days.
Students have also demanded some university officials to step down after failing to protect campuses. Sarjis Alam, another coordinator of the Anti-Discrimination Student Movement, said that they would continue with their protests if all their demands weren't met. “We cannot step back from our movement like a coward,” he added.
Another key organizer of the student protests, Nahid Islam, told reporters that the internet shutdown had disrupted their ability to communicate and alleged that authorities were trying to create divisions among protesters. “I am mentally traumatized ... our unity is being destroyed,” he said.
The US Embassy in the capital Dhaka described Sunday the situation as “extremely volatile” and “unpredictable,” adding that guns, tear gas and other weapons have been used in the vicinity of the embassy. They said the Bangladeshi army had been deployed and urged Americans to be vigilant, avoid large crowds and reconsider travel plans.
The protests have posed the most serious challenge to Bangladesh’s government since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a fourth consecutive term in January elections that the main opposition groups boycotted. Universities have been closed, the internet has been shut off and the government has ordered people to stay at home.
Protesters had argued the quota system was discriminatory and benefited supporters of Hasina, whose Awami League party led the independence movement, and wanted it replaced by a merit-based system. Hasina has defended the quota system, saying that veterans deserve the highest respect regardless of political affiliation.
The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has backed the protests, vowing to organize its own demonstrations as many of its supporters joined the student-led protests.
The Awami League and the BNP have often accused each other of fueling political chaos and violence, most recently ahead of the country’s national election, which was marred by a crackdown on several opposition figures.