Ukraine war: Drone strikes fuel depot in western Russia

Officials in Moscow and Belgorod, Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod and Tula regions also reported similar attacks

Russia's air defense systems destroyed a Ukraine-launched drone flying towards Moscow (photo: DW)
Russia's air defense systems destroyed a Ukraine-launched drone flying towards Moscow (photo: DW)


A fuel depot in the western Russian city of Oryol was hit by a drone strike, causing a fire, the regional governor said early Tuesday. It was one of several Ukrainian attacks overnight.

Ukrainian drones also attacked the Russian regions of Belgorod, Kursk, Tula and Moscow, local officials said.

Meanwhile, UNESCO said that reconstruction of Ukraine's scientific infrastructure will cost more than $1.26 billion (€1.15 billion).

Here's a look at the latest developments in Russia's war on Ukraine for Tuesday, March 12:

Biden to host Polish president and PM at the White House

US President Joe Biden is meeting with Poland's President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Tuesday to affirm US support for NATO and discuss concerns over Russia's war in Ukraine.

In the meeting at the White House, Duda is expected to ask Biden to send more US troops to NATO's eastern flank.

While the Biden administration's foreign policy supports Ukraine, the US president shot down the idea, saying there is "no need for more troops at the Polish border."

The visit comes amid a deadlock in Washington over Ukraine funding. House Republicans haveblocked a multibillion-dollar bipartisan package, which included $60 billion (€54.87 billion) for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, former US President Donald Trump has threatened to slash Ukraine funding if elected and encouraged Russia to invade NATO countries that fail to pay their dues.

Eastern European countries, including Poland, fear that Russia could strike a NATO nation next if Ukraine falls.

President Duda has advocated for NATO member states to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP, highlighting Poland's commitment with a 4% spending rate — double the current NATO target of 2%.

In a recent opinion piece in The Washington Post, Duda highlighted that Russia was spending close to 30% of its annual budget on defense. He said the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin "poses the biggest threat to global peace since the end of the Cold War."

Drones attacked Oryol fuel depot, other regions, Russia says

"A fuel and energy complex facility was attacked. Special services are working on the spot to contain the fire. There were no casualties," regional governor Andrey Klychkov wrote on the messaging app Telegram.

Local media reported that the attack occurred at around 3:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT). According to an emergency services official quoted by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, a tank with oil products caught fire.

An oil processing unit in the town of Kstovo in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region was also on fire after a drone attack, Gleb Nikitin, governor of the region, said.

Russia's air defense systems, meanwhile, also destroyed a Ukraine-launched drone flying towards Moscow, Mayor Sergein Sobyanin said.

Ukrainian drones also attacked the Russian region of Belgorod, near the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, on Monday night, causing no injuries, according to the region's governor.

Rebuilding Ukraine's scientific infrastructure will cost more than $1 billion, UN says

Reconstruction of Ukraine's scientific infrastructure will cost more than $1.26 billion (€1.15 billion), the UN's scientific and cultural organization said.

According to a UNESCO study, 1,443 buildings and laboratories belonging to 177 scientific institutions have been destroyed.

In addition to the buildings themselves, over 750 pieces of scientific and technical equipment have been damaged, with 643 items damaged beyond repair. This includes equipment used in a wide range of research activities.

The war, now in its third year, has also depleted the science sector of funds and dispersed Ukraine's scientists, displacing many within the country and sending others into exile.

The situation around the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants, near the Russia-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine's southeast, is of particular concern, the report said.

The institute's essential equipment for monitoring the nuclear industry has been stolen or destroyed, representing a safety threat in the region and beyond, the report added.

(AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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