“A fire in an oil depot occurred because of an airstrike by two Ukrainian army helicopters that entered Russian territory at low altitude,” said the governor of the Belgorod region (Western of Russia), Vyacheslav Gladkov.
A Russian official on Friday accused Ukraine of carrying out a helicopter attack on an “oil depot” in the western Russian city of Belgorod, about 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. “A fire in an oil depot occurred because of an airstrike by two Ukrainian army helicopters that entered Russian territory at low altitude,” the region’s governor said on his Telegram account. of Belgorod, Vyacheslav Gladkov. In another message, he said firefighters were on the job to put out the blaze and that two depot employees were injured. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations says more than 170 rescue workers are involved.
No shortage of gasoline, says the Minister of Energy
The ministry released a video showing firefighters in silver thermal suits putting out large burning vats. He said he was notified of the fire at 5:51 a.m. (2:51 a.m. GMT) and confirmed the toll of two injuries. The public company Rosneft, owner of the premises, claimed to have evacuated its staff. In addition, the director of a typography near Belgorod, Konstantin Lakhnov, assured that his company had also been hit by helicopter fire. “Helicopters fired at us with rockets (…) The windows are damaged, equipment is destroyed or damaged (…) the roof is damaged”, he stated to the public agency TASS.
After the attack, local media reported lines of vehicles outside gas stations, but Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said there would be no shortage of gasoline. Videos on social media claimed to have been filmed in Belgorod show a helicopter firing missiles, then an explosion. On Wednesday, explosions took place in an ammunition depot in the Belgorod region, without the Russian authorities clearly explaining the cause of the incident.
Five Ukrainian ammunition depots and one fuel depot destroyed
Belgorod is located about 80 kilometers north of Kharkiv, the second Ukrainian city attacked by Russian forces since the start of the Kremlin offensive. On February 25, local and Ukrainian media had mentioned a strike by kyiv against a Russian air base near Rostov, without it being officially confirmed.
For his part, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said nothing about the situation in Belgorod on Friday. On the other hand, he assured that the Russian army had destroyed five Ukrainian ammunition depots and a fuel depot in the last 24 hours.