Ukraine Claims Drone Strike Seriously Damaged Russian Gas Terminal

Jan 22, 2024

Amid an upsurge of Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian soil, a major gas terminal near St. Petersburg exploded in fire. It happened after an alleged air strike Sunday. And it halted the plant's operations.   

Kyiv sources said Ukrainian security forces carried out the attack. Russian officials did not confirm drones caused the fire. But Fontanka.ru stated that it broke out after two drones were seen headed toward the plant. No one was injured. But 150 workers were cleared out.   

The plant attack occurred within hours of a missile strike. The strike killed 27 people at a market. It happened near Donetsk in Russian-held eastern Ukraine. Russia blamed Ukraine for carrying out a “terrorist attack.” Ukraine has not commented  on the strike.      

If the plant attack in northern Russia is confirmed, it could be one of the farthest and most economically harmful to take place inside Russia. The plant is more than 1,500 miles from Kyiv. And it makes 7 million tons of gas condensate (GC) yearly. GC is a by-product of oil and natural gas production. It's used to make fuels from gasoline to heating oil.  

An anonymous source told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that an attack on such a plant causes economic damage to the enemy. The source said it also deprives the Russian occupiers of the chance to earn money to wage war in Ukraine. The source added that it makes arranging fuel for the Russian military harder too. 

The purported St. Petersburg attack follows a series of other Ukrainian drone strikes on Russia. These appear to be part of a new, more aggressive campaign by the Kyiv government. The attack occurred two days after a drone strike ignited four tanks at an oil depot in southern Russia. 

Photo from Reuters.

Reflect: How do you think conflicts between countries can impact not only soldiers, but also the daily life of those living in the affected regions?

Question
What does the word “upsurge” mean in the article? (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. increase
b. disruption
c. decrease
d. change
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