Ukrainian helicopters, according to the regional governor, bombed a fuel storage depot in western Russia, sparking a massive fire. This is Kyiv’s first airstrike on Russian territory.
Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine has killed thousands and displaced over ten million people as of this writing, making it Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Russia has not reported a Ukrainian airstrike on its territory since the conflict began. This was the first strike in Belgorod, Russia.
“A fire broke out at the petrol depot as a result of an airstrike by two Ukrainian army helicopters that entered Russian territory at a low altitude,” Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on the messaging app Telegram.
The blaze reportedly injured two workers at the storage facility.
According to the emergency ministry, 170 firefighters were battling the massive fire as of 6 a.m. (0300 GMT).
A massive fire could be seen raging in the background of a ministry video, with black and white smoke billowing into the sky.
Rosneft, the Russian energy company that owns the facility, announced that its employees had been evicted.
The governor advised residents not to panic, claiming that there was enough gasoline on hand to last them through the weekend.
“There are no fuel shortages in the region, and there will be none,” Gladkov said.
This week, explosions were heard from an arms depot in Belgorod, but authorities were unable to provide a clear explanation.
Since sending troops to Ukraine on February 24, Russian forces have bombarded Kharkiv. Belgorod is located approximately 40 kilometers from the Russian border with Ukraine and approximately 80 kilometers from Kharkiv.
The Russian Defense Ministry also announced the destruction of six military facilities in Ukraine, including five depots containing ammunition, rockets, and artillery weapons.