LVIV, Ukraine — Drivers lined up at gas stations across Ukraine over the weekend as the government struggled to deal with a fuel shortage caused by Russian attacks on oil infrastructure.
“Queues and rising prices at gas stations are seen in many regions of our country,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday in his nightly address. “The occupiers are deliberately destroying the infrastructure for the production, supply and storage of fuel.”
The gasoline shortage will almost certainly affect displaced Ukrainians’ efforts to return to their homes. And aid agencies have said that fuel shortages have made deliveries of food and other humanitarian supplies around the country increasingly difficult. Most of the humanitarian aid is brought in from outside the country and trucked long distances.
Mr. Zelensky said a Russian blockade of Ukrainian seaports meant that replacement stocks could not come in by tanker.
Russian forces this week struck the Kremenchuk oil refinery, Ukraine’s main producer of fuel products, along with several other large refineries. The Russian Defense Ministry also said it had hit storage facilities for petroleum products used by the Ukrainian military.
Mr. Zelensky promised that the government would have a system in place within two weeks to prevent shortages. And Ukraine’s economy minister, Yulia Svyrydenko, pledged to eliminate shortages within a week, but warned that prices would rise slightly because of the complicated logistics of securing fuel from European suppliers.
Ukraine has also been experiencing the sharp rise in the international price of oil prompted by the war with Russia.
This week, the authorities in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, urged the city’s residents to use public transportation rather than private vehicles in an effort to save fuel for the military.
“We need to keep in mind the needs of the military and our defenders,” the city’s administration said. “If you have returned to the capital, please use public transport if possible.”