Ukrainian Forces Reportedly Blow Up Fuel Depot On Russian Territory In "Daring Cross-Border Attack"

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Apr 01, 2022 - 06:00 PM

Update (1530ET): Russian news sources are reporting that the fire at the fuel depot in Belgorod has finally been completely extinguished.


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Update (1210ET): The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that two Ukrainian MI-24 helicopters carried out today's attack on Belgorod, Interfax reports, marking the first official confirmation of the attack by the Russian MoD.

Meanwhile, officials in Kiev have denied that Ukrainian forces played any role in the attack.

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Ukraine forces pulled off a rare attack on Russian soil Friday when two military helicopters destroyed a fuel depot in the city of Belgorod, situated roughly 40 miles north of the border with Ukraine.

The attack was purportedly carried out by two Ukrainian helicopters that crossed into Ukrainian territory. Videos circulating online purported to show Ukrainian Air Force Mi-24 helicopters flying low over Belgorod just before the strike.

The strike will certainly create an interesting backdrop to talks between the Russian and Ukrainian negotiators, which are set to resume via video-conference on Friday.

Meanwhile, the UN said Friday that its relief convoys had failed to reach Mariupol, the southern port city devastated by weeks of shelling, after Russia said it had opened up a "humanitarian corridor" to allow the evacuation of civilians.

Video images of the purported attack posted online showed what looked like several missiles being fired from low altitude, followed by an explosion. Reuters has not yet been able to verify the images.

While Russian authorities have confirmed the attack, some Ukrainian defense analysts insisted that the strike  may have been a "false flag" planned by Moscow to further turn the tide of public opinion in favor of the war (although at least one recently released independent poll showed that the majority of Russians have rallied around the flag in support of the war, per the NYT).

The Ukrainian Foreign Minister said early Friday morning that he "could not confirm nor deny" Ukrainian involvement in the strike.

He's not the first Ukrainian official to neither "confirm nor deny" the attack.

Still, video of the strike has circulated on Western social media.

Given the number of videos of the attack circulating online, many believe some sort of attack did occur.

A WSJ reporter described it as "the most daring known Ukrainian cross-border attack" since the start of the conflict.

A fire at the facility was raging uncontrolled up until a few hours ago.

Here's video of the fire from another angle.

Video taken later in the morning showed the fire had been almost extinguished.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said the strike wouldn't help the cause of peace talks.

According to one media report, 8 tanks with fuel volume of 2,000 cubic meters each are burning. The Russian Defense Ministry hasn't officially commented on the incident.