Russia strikes Ukrainian oil depot and military installations

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) - Russia struck Ukraine's Kremenchuk oil refinery with long-range missiles and hit military installations in its former Soviet neighbour, the Russian defence ministry reported on Monday.

"The armed forces of the Russian Federation continue the special military operation in Ukraine," the ministry said.

Russia said it struck Ukrainian military installations and the Kremenchuk oil refinery near the Dnipro River that the governor of the Poltava region had said was destroyed earlier this month.

"High-precision long-range weapons destroyed fuel production facilities at an oil refinery on the northern outskirts of the city of Kremenchuk, as well as petroleum products storage facilities which fuelled military equipment for Ukrainian troops," the ministry said.

Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and raised fears of a wider confrontation between Russia and the United States - by far the world's two biggest nuclear powers.

President Vladimir Putin says the "special military operation" in Ukraine is necessary because the United States was using Ukraine to threaten Russia and Moscow had to defend against the persecution of Russian-speaking people.

Ukraine says Russia is fighting an imperial-style land grab and that Putin's claims of genocide are nonsense.

Putin says the conflict in Ukraine is part of a much broader confrontation with the United States which he says is trying to enforce its hegemony even as its dominance over the international order declines.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge Editing by Gareth Jones and Edmund Blair

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