Ukraine grapples with fuel shortages after Russian attacks on oil infrastructure.


LVIV, Ukraine — Drivers queued at gas stations across Ukraine over the weekend as the government struggled to cope with a fuel shortage caused by Russian attacks on oil infrastructure.

“Queues and rising prices at gas stations can be observed in many regions of our country,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address on Friday. “The occupiers are deliberately destroying the infrastructure for the production, delivery and storage of fuel.”

The fuel shortage will almost certainly hamper efforts by displaced Ukrainians to return home. And aid organizations have said fuel shortages have made it increasingly difficult to deliver food and other humanitarian supplies across the country. Most of the humanitarian aid is brought in from outside the country and transported over long distances.

Mr Zelensky said a Russian blockade of Ukraine’s seaports meant replacement supplies could not arrive by tanker.

Russian forces this week attacked the Kremenchuk oil refinery, Ukraine’s main producer of fuel products, along with several other major refineries. The Russian Defense Ministry also said it had struck storage facilities for petroleum products used by the Ukrainian military.

Mr Zelensky promised that the government would set up a system to avoid congestion within two weeks. And Ukraine’s Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko promised to remove the shortages within a week, but warned that prices would rise slightly due to the complicated logistics of procuring fuel from European suppliers.

Ukraine is also witnessing the sharp rise in international oil prices triggered by the war with Russia.

This week, authorities in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, urged city residents to use public transport instead of private vehicles to save fuel for the military.

“We must keep in mind the needs of the military and our defenders,” the city government said. “Once you have returned to the capital, please use public transport if possible.”

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