Ukraine Again Launches Strikes into Russia

    Ukraine Again Launches Strikes into Russia
    Last updated May 31, 2023
    Image credit: [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • In what was suspected of being a further Ukrainian drone attack inside Russian territory, a blaze was sparked at an oil refinery in Russia's Krasnodar region in the early hours of Wednesday. Regional governor Veniamin Kondratyev said the fire at the Afipsky oil refinery was contained to 100 meters sq. before being put out, adding that there were no reports of casualties from the attack.[1]
    • A Ukrainian drone also reportedly struck the Ilskyi oil refinery in the neighboring Krasnodar Krai region, but was said not to have detonated. The debris reportedly caused minor damage and there were no reports of fire or injury.[2]
    • Meanwhile, extensive rocket and artillery fire was reported in Russia's Belgorod region, with the area allegedly coming under fire upwards of 200 times in the past day. Local officials said at least one civilian was killed and two others were injured. Dozens of buildings were also said to be damaged.[3]
    • Additionally, pro-Russia officials from Ukraine's breakaway region of Luhansk said that at least four civilians were killed and 16 more were injured in Ukrainian shelling of the region on Wednesday.[4]
    • On Tuesday, when asked by a reporter if the Biden admin. was concerned about Ukrainian strikes in Russian territory, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said: "We do not support attacks inside of Russia. We’ve been very clear about that."[5]
    • However, military analysts speaking to Britain's Financial Times termed the attacks as "shaping operations" — a standard military practice meant to deceive and meddle with the enemy's mindset prior to an offensive. Last week, US Under-Sec. of State Victoria Nuland told an audience in Kyiv that the US has been working with Ukraine on plans for a counteroffensive "for some four to five months."[6]
    • Meanwhile, Russia also continued to launch widespread artillery attacks over the past day, namely in the regions of Donetsk, Kherson, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia. One civilian was reported killed and a further 12 were injured.[7]


    Pro-Ukraine narrative

    Ukraine's attacks inside Russia are "shaping operations," designed to confuse and overwhelm the nation ahead of Ukraine's counteroffensive. This is standard military operating procedure and an essential element of launching a successful counterattack.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Washington's clumsy denials about not supporting Ukrainian strikes inside Russia are laughable given how heavily involved it has been in Ukrainian planning. The US seems hellbent on escalating this conflict to a global, all-out war.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 13% chance that there will be a bilateral cease-fire or peace agreement in the Russo-Ukraine conflict before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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