The Russian government accused Ukraine of carrying out a helicopter attack that targeted an oil depot in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday. Ukrainian officials refused to comment on the report.
Unverified video footage of the alleged attack showed what looked like several missiles being fired from low altitude, followed by an explosion.
If true, this would be the first accusation of a Ukrainian air strike on Russian soil since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on messaging app Telegram that two Ukrainian helicopters struck the facility in Belgorod, 22 miles from the border with Ukraine, after entering Russia at a low altitude. To workers were injured in the blaze and sections of the city were evacuated.
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Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin had been briefed about the incident. Peskov said the strike could jeopardise Moscow’s peace negotiations with Kyiv.
“Of course, this cannot be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for continuing the talks,” Peskov said, adding that everything was being done to prevent disruptions in fuel supplies in the city.
An ammunition depot near Belgorod caught fire on Wednesday, causing a series of blasts. At the time, Gladkov said authorities were waiting for the Russian defence ministry to establish its cause.