Would the Ukrainian army manage to carry out effective counter-attacks on Russian territory? No certainty, but certain events could lead one to think so. On the night of Sunday April 24 to Monday April 25, two fires broke out near the Russian city of Bryansk, 150 kilometers from the border, in northeastern Ukraine.
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“A fire broke out at the Transneft Bryansk-Druzhba fuel depot”, the Russian authorities told national news agencies. In many videos, a second fire is visible in another part of town. According to several sources, it could be a nearby military base.
Latest round of “mysterious” fires in Russia: After multiple reported explosions, an oil depot & military base are now on fire in Bryansk, Russia (region bordering #Ukraine). The oil depot is connected to the world’s longest oil pipeline (Druzhba) feeding Russian oil to Europe. pic.twitter.com/ojCuhpc6j7
— Ukraine Reporter (@StateOfUkraine) April 25, 2022
“According to the first information, there is no victim”, assured the Russian Ministry of Emergencies. No details were provided by Russia on the causes of these fires. The Russian army, however, said it had shot down two drones on the border between the two countries barely two hours after the events, without any link having been established between these events.
Strike in Belgorod
Bryansk serves as a logistics base for Russian troops in the offensive launched since February 24 in Ukraine. It constitutes a double strategic interest: in addition to providing a supply to the soldiers on the front, it is through the oil site of the city that the Druzhba oil pipeline passes, the longest in the world, which makes it possible to supply black gold much of Europe.
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During the month of April, Russia repeatedly accused Ukraine of carrying out attacks in the regions of Bryansk and Kursk, a little further south. Charges neither confirmed nor refuted by kyiv.
On April 1, another fuel depot exploded on Russian soil in the city of Belgorod, less than 90 kilometers from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, in the northeast of the country. The local authorities denounced the firing of missiles carried out by two Ukrainian helicopters during an operation “punch”.
On social networks, many Ukrainians are ironic about these “mysterious fires” which have been declared since the beginning of April on Russian soil. Thursday, April 21, two fires were reported very far from the Ukrainian border. An Air Force research facility was engulfed in flames in Tver, 180 kilometers northwest of Moscow.
This institute focused its research on the development of a missile defense system capable of being deployed in the former Soviet republics. Its researchers had also participated in the development of the Iskander ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. A short circuit was put forward to explain the fire.
Later the same day, a chemical solvent factory caught fire in Kineshma, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow. This plant would be, according to its website, the largest in Europe to produce industrial solvents. But the factory is also a major supplier of chemicals and petrochemicals.