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March 23, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Financial Times published a story March 22 asserting that the White House had “urged Ukraine to halt strikes on Russian oil refineries,” citing three unnamed “people familiar with the discussion.” Allegedly the White House worries that Ukraine’s “brazen” drone attacks on oil refineries, terminals, depots and storage facilities in western Russia could lead to a rise of oil prices in an election year and trigger Russian retaliatory strikes on energy infrastructure needed by the West, to the same effect.

If such a request was actually made, Ukraine delivered its answer on Saturday morning, March 23, launching “several drone attacks” on oil refineries in Russia’s Samara region. A blazing fire was set off in one of the region’s larger refineries.

Speakers on the second day of the NATO-Atlanticist Kyiv Security Forum in Ukraine’s capital, when FT’s article was published, flatly rejected any proposal that Ukraine should stop attacking Russia’s oil infrastructure. “I would recommend ignoring calls to stop such attacks,” the Russophobe U.S. Gen. Ben Hodges told the gathering in his online presentation. (He also urged them to strike Russian logistics in Crimea.)

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna was asked how Ukraine had responded to the request. “Precisely by achieving its goals and by very successful operations conducted on the territory of the Russian Federation,” she told the Forum.

“Destroying Muscovite energy infrastructure will hasten Russia’s defeat and save Ukrainian lives,” tweeted Janusz Bugajski from Washington’s Brzezinski-ite bastion, the Jamestown Foundation. Bugajski is a top controller of the Free Nations of Post-Russia Forum operation which seeks to break up Russia into dozens of little Western client states. He went on to chortle over the March 22 terrorist attack in Moscow, that Russia faces “an uncontrollable storm that will dissolve the Russian empire. Terrorism, sabotage, FSB provocations, power struggles, economic collapse, civil wars, and regional unrest will envelop the failed Muscovite state.”

How much has Ukraine’s operation actually hurt Russia’s oil industry? U.K.’s Ministry of Defense claims that it is “likely” that Ukraine has disrupted 10% of Russia’s oil refinery capacity, and because of sanctions restricting purchase of equipment, repair of the damage “could take considerable time.” Former CIA analyst Helima Croft told FT that Ukraine had shown it could put “about 60% of the country’s exports at risk.”

But while Pravda UA wrote that “more than ten major oil refineries and depots have been damaged,” shutting down some refineries “for several months,” other sources reminded the daily that the estimates of 10% or 12% of refining capacity being shut refers to the theoretical production capacity, and the actual refining effected may differ, and the latest attacks “will affect the total refining volume in Russia by a few percent at most.”