Day 806: Ukrainian drones strike oil refinery in Russia’s Bashkiria region, 1,400 km from border

The President of the European Parliament arrives in Kyiv on Europe Day. Ukrainian drones hit two oil depots near Anapa and an oil refinery in Bashkiria. Two hydroelectric power plants were taken out of commission after recent Russian airstrikes. Ukrainian troops hold back Russian advance into Krasnohorivka.

EU Parliament President arrives in Kyiv on Europe Day

President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola made an unannounced trip to Kyiv on Thursday, May 9. 

“Ms. Metsola is here, in the city,” Stefan Schleuning, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, told the EuroSummit of Civil Society Organizations in Kyiv, according to European Pravda. Schleuning added that Ukrainians “defend us, Europeans, and the European Union every day.”

Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk posted to X a photo of himself with Metsola at the railway station in Kyiv. 

“The European Parliament is undoubtedly at the forefront of supporting Ukraine. It was the first institution in the EU to advocate for Ukraine’s candidate status for accession to the EU. The European Parliament has always had a strong voice when it comes to building an international coalition to support our fight for freedom and European values, when it comes to supplying weapons to Ukraine and enhancing sanctions pressure against Russia,” he said.

Details of Metsola’s visit to Ukraine were not made public beforehand. It symbolically coincides with Europe Day that Ukraine marks on May 9. 

Ukrainian drones hit two oil depots near Anapa, oil refinery in Bashkiria 

Drones launched by Ukraine’s Security Service overnight on Thursday struck two oil depots in the village of Yurovka near the town of Anapa in Russia’s Krasnodar region, a source told Ukrainian media outlet The New Times. 

The source said the oil depots were used as transshipment points to supply fuel to Russian troops in the nearby occupied peninsula of Crimea.

“It’s high season for ‘bavovna’ [‘cotton’ in Ukrainian, a wartime meme meaning the billowing smoke from strikes in Russia or in occupied territories] at Russian oil refineries and depots. The Security Service of Ukraine will continue to reduce Russia’s economic and logistics potential for waging war,” the source said.

Around 3 a.m. local time, seven or eight drones struck the Temp oil depot in Yurovka, causing a fire to erupt, Russian Telegram channels said, citing local residents.   

Local authorities said more than 60 firefighters and 100 pieces of equipment were involved in putting out the fire ignited by the attacks.  

Ukrainian drones also struck the Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat oil processing facility in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan on Thursday, sparking a fire.

“The drone hit a catalytic cracking unit at around 1 p.m. The employees of the facility heard an explosion and saw a plume of smoke. The fire was not large, and workers were not evacuated. The plant was functioning as usual,” Russia’s Baza Telegram channel said. 

Head of the Bashkiria region, Radiy Khabirov, said first responders and top security officials were on site. There were no casualties, according to the report. 

Baza Telegram channel released a video of the fire. The footage showed a drone flying over the refinery and a plume of black smoke. The nearest government-held part of Ukraine is about 1,400 km away. The facility processes hydrocarbon raw materials into 150 types of products. 

Two hydroelectric power plants out of commission after recent Russian airstrikes

Russian air strikes on Wednesday seriously damaged Ukraine’s hydroelectric facilities. Two hydroelectric power plants were taken out of commission, state-run hydropower generating company Ukrhydroenergo said on Thursday. 

“Today all hydroelectric power generation has suffered critical damages. The destroyed equipment requires considerable efforts to repair and restore and significant financial resources,” the company said in a statement.

“Support and decisive actions of the international community are now more important than ever,” the statement reads.

Ukrainian troops hold back Russian advance into Krasnohorivka

Ukrainian troops have taken out some of the Russian assault groups that broke through to the refractory plant in Krasnohorivka, Donetsk region. The remaining Russian forces are in a difficult position as they are almost not resupplied with ammunition and are not supported by armored vehicles, spokesperson for the Khortytsia operational-strategic group, Lieutenant Colonel Nazar Voloshyn, said on television on Thursday.  

Russia sends small assault groups into eastern outskirts of Krasnohorivka. They are supported by armored vehicles, but more often they walk or use motorcycles, Voloshyn said.

Ukrainian troops are fending off Russia’s attempts to enter Krasnohorivka. They use artillery and mortars to take out the enemy in this direction. Ukrainian troops are holding back the Russian advance into the city and its outskirts. 

In the past day, there were 11 assaults, two engagements and 120 drone strikes around Krasnohorivka, according to the Khortytsia operational-strategic group.