THE Ukraine attacked eight Russian regions with dozens of long-range drones early today, sparking a fire at a fuel depot and affecting three power substationsas a source in the intelligence services of Kiev told Reuters.

The overnight attack, confirmed by the defense ministry in Moscow, comes amid a Russian campaign of airstrikes against Ukraine’s energy system and pounding cities with missiles and drones in recent weeks.

Facing mounting pressure on the battlefield more than two years after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion, Ukraine is trying to find a pressure point against the Kremlin by targeting oil refineries and energy facilities inside Russia using drones.

“At least three electrical substations and a fuel storage base were hit, where fires broke out,” the Ukrainian source said, citing videos on social media showing fires raging in various locations.

The source said the facilities were targeted because they support Russian military industrial production.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said it shot down more than 50 Ukrainian drones, including 26 in Belgorod Oblast, ten in Bryansk, eight in Kursk, two in Tula, as well as one each in Smolensk, Ryazan, Kaluga and Moscow Oblasts.

Russian officials said two civilians were killed and a fire broke out in a fuel tank during the attacks.

Vychislav Gladkov, the governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, said two civilians were killed in a drone attack.

He also later said that a pregnant woman and her unborn child succumbed to injuries sustained in the hospital when Ukraine bombed the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka in the Sebekino region.

The governor of the Kursk region, Roman Starovoit, said on the Telegram application that the village of Tiotkino, which is often shelled, was attacked with cluster munitions. No one was injured.

The governor of Russia’s western Smolensk region, Vassily Anokhin, said a Ukrainian drone attacked a fuel facility in the Kardym region, hitting a fuel and oil tank.

There are no large oil refineries in the Smolensk region.

“As a result of the efforts of the air defense forces, the aircraft was shot down. However, due to falling debris, a fire broke out in a fuel and oil tank,” he said on the Telegram app.

He added that it was unclear if there were any injuries.

Almost 26 months after the 2022 invasion, Russia is slowly advancing into eastern Ukraine and has stepped up its shelling of towns and villages behind the front lines.

This year alone, Ukraine has been attacked with nearly 1,200 missiles, more than 1,500 drones and 8,500 guided bombs amid a slowdown in Western military aid, President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday.

Unable to produce long-range missiles on short notice and with limited access to those manufactured by its Western allies, Kiev has focused on developing long-range drones to counter the attacks. Russia has an expanding arsenal of missiles and drones.

Last night’s attack was a joint operation carried out by Ukraine’s SBU security service, GUR army intelligence and Special Operations Forces, the source told Reuters.