A fire at the Afipsky oil refinery in Russia’s Krasnodar region, May 30, 2023

Tuesday’s Coverage: Drone Strikes in Moscow; 1 Killed in Latest Russian Attacks on Kyiv

Map: Institute for Study of War


Echoing the UK (see Original Entry), the spokesperson for the German Government, Steffen Hebestreit, has said, “International law allows Ukraine to carry out strikes on the territory of Russia for the purpose of self-defense.”

Hebestreit said German weapons should not be used for the attacks.


Russian shelling has killed a 60-year-old man in Vovchansk, near the Russian border in the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine.

A 52-year-old woman was taken to hospital with shrapnel wounds.


President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says 371 Ukrainian children have been returned after being deported by Russia during Moscow’s invasion.

Zelenskiy launched the Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights in Ukraine. His office announced the Bring Kids Back plan, combining the efforts of Ukrainian authorities, partner countries, and international organizations.

Ukrainian authorities say almost 20,000 children are documented to have been deported by Russia from occupied Ukrainian territories.

Ukraine’s Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets added during a briefing: “According to our data, more than 27,000 civilian hostages are being held by the Russian Federation. This is a huge number of our citizens who are actually held captive by the Russians.”


Russia’s Higher Education Ministry has set a course in political indoctrination as a requirement for graduation from university or college.

The “Fundamentals of Russian Statehood” module was designed under the immediate supervision of the Kremlin’s inner circle headed by Deputy Chief of Staff Sergey Kiriyenko. The guidelines says it intends to turn Russia’s undergraduates into a “patriotic intelligentsia”.

Students will be given 72 hours of instruction for a “developed sense of civic responsibility and patriotism” and of their place in “Russian civilization”.

Sections of the course hail Russia’s “unprecedented territorial spread” and its “exceptional natural bounty”; cite landmarks such as Moscow’s Stalin-era high-rises, St. Petersburg’s Lakhta Center, and the redevelopment of Grozny in Chechnya after it was levelled by Russian forces in the 1990s; and “heroes” and role models.


A Russian military court has sentenced eight men to prison terms between six and seven years for deserting their military unit in eastern Ukraine.

Called up in September in Vladimir Putin’s mass mobilization, the men were sent to a field camp in the Russian-occupied Luhansk region. Complaining about a lack of equipment and provisions, they fled the camp to “save [their] lives and health”, said their lawyer Yevgeny Saveskul.

They went to a police station in Podolsk in the Moscow region and handed over the weapons issued to them during their military service.


Russian officials say the Ilsky oil refinery, as well as the nearby Afipsky facility, was attacked early Wednesday.

State outlet TASS summarizes, “An unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle fell on the territory of the Ilsky oil refinery in Kuban. The infrastructure was not damaged, there were no casualties.”


The UN has emphasized that there is no equivalence between Tuesday’s drone attacks in Moscow and Russia’s recurrent strikes across Ukraine.

Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for Secretary General António Guterres, said:

Of course, we condemn any attack on civilians and civilian infrastructure anywhere those may occur. But I think it’s also important to point [out] that there is no comparison between the recent attacks in Moscow and the massive strikes that we are continuing to see on Ukrainian cities.


European Union Agriculture Minister Janusz Wojciechowski says limits on Ukraine’s grain imports into the bloc may have to remain until the end of October.

Last month Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria imposed restrictions, claiming that the Ukrainian imports were harming domestic producters.

wojciechowski said on Tuesday that the European Commission has yet to agree on the extension of the limit. However, he hoped he had “managed to convince the remaining member states that this is only fair”.

The Ukraine Agricultural Ministry responded, “Continuation of restrictions means putting additional weapons in Putin’s hands against unity in Europe. Current restrictions must be cancelled.”

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine appears to have struck another oil refinery inside Russia in a drone attack.

Krasnodar Governor Veniamin Kondratyev acknowledged the 3 a.m. strike, saying it was the likely cause of a fire at the Afipsky refinery. He said the blaze was extinguished by 4:40 a.m. and there were no casualties.

The refinery is near the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk and the Ilksy refinery that has been attacked several times in May, including on Monday.

Afipsky has a capacity of 6.25 million tons per year, producing diesel fuel, natural gasoline, gas oil, fuel oil, and sulfur.

While Kyiv’s Zelenskiy Government has not publicly taken responsibility for the drone attacks, they appear to be part of “shaping operations” in preparation for a counter-offensive to liberate Ukrainian territory from the Russian invaders. Targets have included military bases, refineries and oil depots, railway lines, and supply and logistics facilities.

Krasnodar is linked to the Russian-occupied Crimea peninsula by the Kerch Strait Bridge, opened by Vladimir Putin in May 2018.

The governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, across the border from the Kharkiv region in northeast Ukraine, said shelling injured four people in the town of Shebekino.

Vyacheslav Gladkov said two people were hospitalized, 48 hours after two industrial facilities in the town were hit.

On Monday, hours after Russia launched its 17th set of missile and drone strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrianian areas this month, at least 10 drones attacked Moscow. Several drones were downed, but others got through air defenses, hitting three high-rise residential buildings in the capital and landing in suburbs.

The US distanced itself from the operation. “We do not support attacks inside of Russia. That’s it. Period,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at a briefing in Washington.

In contrast, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverley said that Kyiv “has the right to use military force outside its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to use military force in Ukraine”.

Vladimir Putin tried to divert from the strikes on Moscow, with the unsupported claim that Russian forces successfully attacked Ukrainian military intelligence headquarters “two [to] three days ago”. He held up the series of missile and drone assaults on Ukraine, falsely asserting that they hit Ukrainian military infrastructure rather than civilian areas.