Zelensky: Ukrainian strikes reveal Russia's military vulnerabilities

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Recent successful Ukrainian drone strikes on targets in the Russian Federation demonstrate Russia's vulnerabilities and Ukraine's long-range capabilities, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening address on March 16.

Ukrainian forces struck multiple oil refineries in Russia this week, reaching targets in Samara, Ryazan, Kaluga, Nizhny Novgorod, and Leningrad oblasts. The strikes follow recent successes downing Russian war planes and hitting the Black Sea Fleet.

"These weeks have demonstrated to many that the Russian war machine has vulnerabilities that we can reach with our weapons," Zelensky said.

Zelensky has long said that improving Ukraine's long-range strike capabilities is critical. At the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 17, Zelensky urged allies not to give Russia the upper hand by allowing Ukraine's "deficit" of long-range weapons grow.

While Kyiv continues to lobby Western allies for long-range missile systems, including German-made Taurus missiles and U.S. ATACMS, Ukraine has also been developing its own long-range weapons.

Ukraine's Beaver drone, an attack drone that can fly up to 800 kilometers, has reportedly struck numerous critical targets, including Russian missile storage facilities.

Zelensky thanked the Ukrainian military and defense-industrial complex for their achievements.

"What our own drones are capable of is a true Ukrainian long-range capability. Ukraine will now always have a strike force in the sky," he said.

The facilities hit by Ukrainian drones in the past days account for about 12% of Russia’s oil-processing capacity, Bloomberg reported. Profits from Russian oil continue to fund Russia's war against Ukraine.

Read also: Opinion: How many planes does Russia have?

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