Russia accuses Ukraine of using two military helicopters to attack fuel depot on Russian soil


Ukraine has been accused of using two military helicopters to launch a missile attack on a fuel depot on Russian soil in the city of Belgorod.

It’s the first time that Russia has accused Ukraine to launch an air strike on its territory since Moscow invaded its neighbor on 24 February.

Unexplained video footage showed what looked like several rockets fired from low altitude, followed by a huge explosion at the oil plant near the Ukrainian border.

The helicopters hit the depot after flying over the border at low altitude, regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov claimed on the messaging app Telegram.

Two workers were injured in the inferno, Gladkov added, while some areas of the city were evacuated.

There have been repeated fears that Russia is launching ‘false flag’ attacks throughout the war, which it could then use as an excuse for escalation.

Belgorod, a city of 69,000 people, is located 25 miles from the border with Ukraine and 50 miles from the city of Kharkiv.

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The Russian oil company Rosneft, which owns the fuel depot, said no one was injured in the fire, although it did not provide any information on the cause.

Ukrainian officials have not yet responded.

On Wednesday, an ammunition depot near Belgorod caught fire, causing a series of explosions.

Gladkov said authorities were waiting for the Russian Ministry of Defense to determine its case.

It comes as the Department of Defense said Russia relocates troops frome Georgia to strengthen its forces in Ukraine after suffering “unexpected losses”.

A fire at the Rosneft fuel depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, 25 miles from the border with Ukraine. – Ukrainian helicopters carried out an attack on the storage facility, said the local governor (Photo: AFP Photo / Russian Emergency Ministry)

Between 1,200 and 2,000 of the troops are being reorganized in three battalion tactical groups, according to the MoD intelligence update.

It was “highly unlikely” that Russia had originally planned to use reinforcements in such a way, and it was “indicative of the unexpected losses it has suffered during the invasion,” the MoD update said.

Ukrainian forces have recaptured the villages of Sloboda and Lukashivka south of Chernihivwhich has been bombed by heavy Russian shelling, according to the defense update.

The villages are located along one of the main supply routes between the city and Kiev.

This story is being updated

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