A U.S. soldier walks near Abrams battle tanks near Vilnius, Lithuania, Oct. 21, 2019.

Russian Attack Hits Ukrainian Oil Refinery

Jeff Seldin | VOA News |

WASHINGTON — Ukraine said Wednesday a Russian drone attack overnight damaged an oil refinery in the Poltava region in the central part of the country.

Governor Dmytro Lunin said operations at the plant were temporarily suspended, and that there were no reports of casualties.

Serhiy Lysak, the regional governor of Dnipropetrovsk, said Russia attacked Nikopol and three other areas, damaging five houses.

Ukraine’s military said its air defenses shot down 17 of 24 drones that Russia used in its overnight attacks.

Ukraine’s efforts to break through Russia’s defensive lines could soon benefit from some long-awaited firepower — some 31 U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks first promised in January.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the impending delivery of the U.S. tanks Tuesday during a meeting of some 50 nations in the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Germany on Tuesday, noting the coalition “continues to move heaven and earth to get Ukraine what it needs right now.”

“That will add another formidable armor capability to join the [German-made Leopard tanks] that are already on the battlefield,” he added.

Speaking separately, a defense official told reporters traveling with the secretary that the U.S. tanks are already in Europe and will begin crossing into Ukraine in the coming days.

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