Politico: Russia runs out of gasoline due to Ukrainian attacks on refineries

Liza Brovko

Drone attacks on Russian oil refineries have led to the fact that one of the worldʼs largest oil powers has run out of gasoline.

Politico writes about it.

Prices for diesel fuel for Russian consumers have risen sharply, only in the last week they have risen in price by 10%. At the same time, gasoline prices reached a six-month high, increasing by more than 20% since the beginning of the year.

The supply of fuel is decreasing, Russian enterprises are forced to suspend production. In addition, Moscow reduced fuel exports to an almost historic low. It was around 712,000 tonnes last week, compared to over 844,000 tonnes for the same week in 2023.

Drone attacks on refineries have become both a political and a military problem for Russia, because cheap fuel is important for the Russian defense-industrial complex, and also for Putinʼs image.

Igor Yushkov, an analyst at Russiaʼs National Energy Security Fund, told Russian media that prices are unlikely to drop anytime soon, and Russia may start importing gasoline from reserves in Belarus.

Last year, the Kremlin banned gasoline and diesel exports due to shortages in the domestic market, where regulation kept prices low to appease motorists and artificially stimulate the agricultural sector.

Intermediaries made money by selling cheap gasoline abroad, intended for use in Russia, and developed a black market. The Kremlin eased the ban in November 2023, but reimposed it in March 2024 due to drone attacks.

Now Russia will have to choose whether to get money for the war or to provide fuel for its military and civilians.

According to Ingram, a former British military intelligence officer, drone strikes work because they destroy oil infrastructure, a strategy "that will be taught in officer training academies decades from now."