Ukrainian kamikaze drones destroyed oil depot and sea terminal in Novorossiysk

Drones and missiles struck an oil refinery and seaport in the Russian city of Novorossiysk in the early hours of May 17, causing explosions and power outages, the Russian Telegram news channel Astra reported.

Novorossiysk is Russia’s main port on the Black Sea. In addition to the oil terminal, the port also houses a large cargo operation and the Russian Black Sea fleet. 

Two weeks ago, Ukraine staged a successful attack with an unmanned craft that struck and damaged the Russian landing craft Olenegorsky Gornyak while the vessel was anchored in the bay. It was later towed to a berth in the port.

Local residents reported hearing at least eight explosions in Novorossiysk overnight, and video footage records the sounds of both drones and air defense activity.

A missile struck the Novorossiysk port and caused a fire to break out, residents said.

According to locals, the attack also hit the city’s oil infrastructure. Both the Novorossiysk Fuel oil terminal and the Transneft terminal were attacked. 

Novorossiysk reportedly lost power during the attacks.

The U.K. Defense Ministry reported on March 31 that Russia was strengthening the Novorossiysk port’s defenses in order to protect the Black Sea Fleet from possible Ukrainian attacks.

Russia withdrew most of its Black Sea Fleet vessels from occupied Crimea in 2023 and redeployed them to Novorossiysk. The move followed a series of devastating Ukrainian strikes, including a missile attack on the fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol on Sept. 22.

The Novorossiysk port is located on Russia’s Black Sea coast, in the southern region of Krasnodar Krai.

Ukrainian forces have continued launching drone strikes targeting Russia’s oil industry this spring. Kyiv says these attacks are carried out to undermine Russia’s military operations and retaliate against Moscow’s strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

Ukraine’s military intelligence (HUR) confirmed that it carried out a successful drone attack against an oil base in Russia’s Rostov Oblast on May 15.

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