Ukrainian helicopter strike against Russian oil depot, local official says


Ukrainian military helicopters carried out a targeted strike on an oil storage facility on Russian soil, the region’s governor said on Friday.

“There was a fire at the petrol depot because of an airstrike by two Ukrainian army helicopters, which entered Russian territory at low altitude,” said Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of the region. of Belgorod which borders the northeast of Ukraine. wrote in an early morning Telegram message.

Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed the alleged attack.

The Kremlin said the reported Ukrainian airstrike would hamper future peace talks.

“Of course, this is not something that can be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for further negotiations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Eight tanks are currently on fire at the depot in the city of Belgorod, the Ministry of Emergency Situations Recount Interfax. Nearly 200 firefighters were deployed to the scene.

Two oil depot employees suffered non-life-threatening injuries, Gladkov noted. No deaths have been reported.

Rosneft, owner of the facility, told Russian news agencies he evacuated his staff from the premises.

Belgorod Mayor Anton Ivanov said people whose homes were near the facility had been evacuated to the Belgorod Arena until the fire was extinguished.

On Wednesday, explosions could be heard from an arms depot in Belgorod but the authorities did not provide any explanation for the explosions.

Belgorod is about 80 kilometers from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has come under heavy Russian bombardment since Moscow launched its war against Ukraine on February 24.

AFP contributed reporting.

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