Drones attack Russia's Druzhba oil pipeline

Senior Ukrainian security official says Kyiv is ready to begin its long-awaited counter offensive.

The PCK refinery in Schwedt, Germany, which primarily processed Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline until January 2023. (AP)
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Two drones attacked Russia’s Druzhba oil pipeline in the Tver region on Saturday, the Kommersant newspaper reported, citing social media reports.

Druzhba is one of the largest oil pipelines in the world, connecting West Siberian oilfields to big refineries in Europe, including Poland and Germany. It has the capacity to pump 2 million barrels per day.

The reported attack comes hours after one of Ukraine’s most senior security officials announced that Ukraine was “ready to begin” its long-expected counter offensive.

“It could happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told the BBC, without naming a date.

Ukraine has been planning a counter-offensive for months. But it has wanted as much time as possible to train troops and to receive military equipment from western allies.

Mr Danilov said his government had “no right to make a mistake” on the decision.

The assault will only begin once his commanders estimated “we can have the best result at that point of the war”.

“We have to understand that historic opportunity that is given to us – by God – to our country, we cannot lose, so we can truly become an independent, big European country.”

Mr Danilov also told the BBC he was “absolutely calm” about Russia beginning to deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus, saying: “To us, it’s not some kind of news.”

Updated: May 27, 2023, 2:09 PM