Ukrainians are running out of gasoline after Russian strikes on fuel infrastructure 2022-04-30 05:11:00


DIDOVYCHI, Ukraine – Ukrainians faced fuel shortages and price hikes afterwards Russian missile strikes On the country’s oil refineries and storage depots, officials pledged to resolve the crisis with new contracts from Western Europe.

“The occupiers are deliberately destroying the infrastructure for the production, supply and storage of fuel,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech Friday night. Russia has also closed our ports, so there are no immediate solutions to plug the deficit.

He added, “Queues and price hikes are common at gas stations in many regions of our country.”

Thousands of Ukrainians traveling across the country to return to the homes they left behind when the war began on February 24 felt a shortage of gasoline. Russia changed its military campaign To the east and south of the capital Kyiv. People driving from western Ukraine to Kyiv and neighboring towns on Friday waited in queues for petrol that grew as they approached the capital.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at an oil depot near Chugov, Ukraine, after Russian missile strikes.


Sergey Popock/AFP/Getty Images

Most petrol stations were rationing fuel to 10 liters per customer, and some ran out completely. Some lines spanned a quarter of a mile per fill pump.

“We have no idea if we will get delivery any time soon,” said Oleksandr Kovalchuk, a gas station worker off the E40 motorway from Lviv in western Ukraine to Kyiv.

At another station on the same route, drivers had to provide cell phone numbers to which a code would be sent allowing them to refill 10 liters of gasoline. The cashier said each customer was allowed one token and another refill would be refused at other stations operated by the same company, West Oil Group SA.

Father Roman Danchevsky, an Orthodox priest who was on his way to celebrate mass in the capital, was carrying canisters totaling 60 liters of petrol into the trunk of the pickup truck he was traveling in with family and friends. He said that he had made three stops since leaving Lviv, and had waited 40 minutes at the first stop he visited outside the city.

“If you plan ahead, you will be fine,” he said. “But it is clear that the war affects our lives.”

On Friday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svirenko commented on the shortage of Russian attacks on the Kremenchug oil refinery and other sites with fuel reserves. She said the problem would be resolved within the next seven days through contracts with Western Europe, which would lead to a slight rise in fuel prices. It did not explain how the fuel will enter Ukraine, but it is likely that they will enter by rail and truck carriers that cross from Poland and other neighboring countries.

Ukrainians wait to travel near Ruska Lozova, which was retaken by the Ukrainian army after heavy fighting.


Sergey Kozlov/Shutterstock

Authorities in Kyiv said drivers should restrict the use of private vehicles except in urgent cases, as more residents returned to the Ukrainian capital after Russian forces withdrew from the area.

“Today, we have different priorities for fuel,” said Mykola Povoroznik, an official in Kyiv, urging residents who have returned to the capital to use public transport.

The Kyiv administration indicated that city buses, trams, trolleybuses and private buses operate on nearly 200 routes, and the rapid transit system of the Kyiv Metro operates all day.

On April 2, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had used long-range, high-precision weapons Destruction of gasoline and diesel storage facilities At the Kremenchug oil refinery, which supplied Ukrainian troops in the central and eastern parts of the country.

The strike came after Russian officials Ukraine accused of firing missiles At an oil depot in Belgorod, a Russian city 20 miles from the Ukrainian border, in a pre-dawn helicopter raid the day before.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since Russia invaded Ukraine, with fears growing that the conflict could spread to other countries. The war raised the specter of a broader confrontation between the world’s two largest nuclear powers. US officials say they aim to degrade Russia’s military power.

A woman puts plastic sheeting on the windows of her house near Bucha after the blast broke it.


Emilio Morenati/The Associated Press

On the battlefront, Ukrainian forces on Friday raised the country’s flag over the town of Ruska Lozova, north of Kharkiv, the second largest city in the country. Russian forces captured Ruska Lozova and pressed on Kharkiv on the first day of the war, using positions there to bombard the city’s residential neighborhoods. The recapture of Ruska Lozova follows another Ukrainian advance north of Kharkiv as Ukrainian forces aim to limit Russia’s ability to strike the city with artillery.

In an attempt to stop a Russian advance in the eastern Donbass region, Ukrainian forces on Friday blew up a railway bridge near the town of Lyman, according to footage broadcast on national television. Heavy fighting continued across the Donbass front, with both sides releasing videos of destroyed enemy armor.

Ukrainian officials and Western analysts say Russian forces are making slow progress.

Back on the road, Sergei Jeleba, a marketing specialist, was traveling with his wife and one-year-old daughter Polina from Lutsk, a city in western Ukraine where the family had moved for safety reasons after the invasion of Russia. On Friday, they were on their way to the house they left behind in Kyiv.

“Previously you had a lot of options at gas stations, with two different types of diesel and three gas options,” he said. “Now there is little left anywhere.”

The footage shows the explosions that rocked Kyiv during the visit of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to the Ukrainian capital; Russian forces gradually captured more of eastern Ukraine; The House of Representatives passed a bill to facilitate the dispatch of military equipment. Photo: Valeria Ferraro/Zuma Press

For Yuri Sorentes, who works for a company that makes electronic security systems, gasoline is also a necessary commodity to power the generator he and his family run in their home in Makarov, a town near Kyiv that was heavily bombed by early Russian forces. During the war, it was left largely without electricity.

Mr Surinets and his family left Makarov on February 25 as part of the relocation of his company’s employees to the Zakarpattia region in western Ukraine, but were returning to replant their garden and check on their home.

“When you travel you should have spare supplies because the situation is worse in the Kyiv region,” he said. “And we should be able to go back to the West soon.”

write to Matthew Luxmore in Matthew

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