Day 846: Ukrainian drone attack sets ablaze two oil storage sites in Russia’s Rostov region

A Ukrainian drone attack sets ablaze two oil storage sites in Russia’s Rostov region. Rheinmetall is to supply a new Frankenstein tank to Ukraine to shoot down Russian drones and missiles. Italy will send Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine.   

Ukrainian drone attack sets ablaze two oil storage sites in Russia’s Rostov region  

A Ukrainian drone strike set ablaze two oil storage sites in the city of Azov, in Russia’s Rostov region. The attack was carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine, the New Voice of Ukraine said, citing sources familiar with the matter. 

The sites had a total of 22 fuel tanks, the sources said. 

Nearby residents reported hearing explosions throughout the night. The loudest explosions were audible close to the train station and the port where oil depots and fuel terminals are located.

The sites went ablaze after being hit in a drone attack.

“The Security Service of Ukraine will continue to impose ‘drone sanctions’ on the Russian oil industry and to reduce the enemy’s economic potential that supplies resources for waging a war against Ukraine to the aggressor,” the source told the New Voice of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Security Service has carried out more than 20 successful drone attacks on oil refineries across Russia.   

Vasily Golubev, governor of the Rostov region, said that an overnight drone attack on oil product tanks in the city of Azov caused a blaze. There were no casualties, he said. Photos and videos circulating on social media appear to show oil storage tanks engulfed in flames.

Rheinmetall to supply new Frankenstein tank to Ukraine to shoot down Russian drones and missiles

Germany’s Rheinmetall is to supply new Frankenstein tanks to Ukraine that combine Leopard tanks with Skyranger anti-aircraft systems. 

Німецький збройний концерн Rheinmetall передасть Україні гібриди танків Leopard та ППО Skyranger –Frankenstein, здатні збивати ворожі ракети та безпілотники. 

A new “Frankenstein” air defence tank designed to shoot down Russian drones and missiles is to be supplied to Ukraine by a top German arms firm, The Telegraph said.

Rheinmetall has announced it will mount its state-of-the-art Skyranger anti-aircraft system on Cold War-era Leopard 1 tank hulls, creating a new vehicle to bolster Ukraine’s defences.

“There are still many Leopard 1 main battle tanks on whose chassis we could mount the Skyranger turret with the 35 mm calibre automatic cannon,” Bjorn Bernhard, head of land systems at Rheinmetall, told Bild, a German newspaper.

Rheinmetall has only recently developed the Skyranger system, which boasts sophisticated sensors with 360-degree vision of the battlefield, capable of dealing with swarms of drones.

Mr Bernhard made his comments at a top secret workshop recently opened by Rheinmetall in western Ukraine, where the company is repairing German-made tanks that have been damaged on the front.

By repairing the vehicles in Ukraine, the company hopes to cut the time it takes to get tanks back into action.

At first, only Marder armoured vehicles and the older version of the Leopard tank will be repaired at the factory. But the company has said that it wants to repair more modern Leopard 2 tanks inside Ukraine as well.

“We are planning for the long term in Ukraine,” Mr Bernhard. “We’re not just supplying equipment and then withdrawing – we’re showing that we’ll be there permanently and supporting Ukraine.”

Italy to send Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine

Ukraine could soon receive Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles from Italy as part of a new military aid package, according to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. 

A ninth military aid package from Italy to Ukraine will contain a SAMP/T anti-aircraft defense system, as well a batch of long-range Storm Shadow missiles, sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper. It is expected that the Italian government will approve the package before a NATO summit in Washington in July. Italy’s defense ministry has not yet commented on the matter.

In 1999, Italy bought 200 Storm Shadow missiles. In 2023, it joined a French-British program to replace them with a new generation of missiles. In an interview published in April, British Defense Secretary, Grant Shapps said Italy had already supplied Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine alongside the UK and France. 

All shipments have so far been covered by official secrecy and the government has never made public the exact list of weapons it has sent to Ukraine. 

The SAMP/T system, also known as MAMBA, is a Franco-Italian battery that can track dozens of targets and intercept 10 at once. Rome and Paris jointly delivered a first system to Ukraine in 2023.

Corriere della Sera newspaper earlier said that the government could greenlight the new supplies after a summit of G7 leaders hosted by Italy.