Kremlin Says Ukraine Attacked Oil Depot Inside Russia

Russia says it's 'not conducive to talks'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2022 6:08 AM CDT
Russia Says Ukraine Launched Strike Over the Border
In this handout photo released by Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service on Friday, April 1, 2022, firefighters work at the site of a fire at an oil depot in Belgorod region, Russia.   (Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service via AP)

(Newser) – Russian authorities say Ukrainian helicopter gunships launched an attack over the border early Friday, striking an oil storage facility 25 miles inside Russia. If confirmed, the attack on the facility in Belgorod will be the first Ukrainian strike across the border since Russia invaded its neighbor more than a month ago, the Guardian reports. Missiles fired by the helicopters caused a major fire at the facility, according to Russian authorities. "There was a fire at the oil depot because of an air strike carried out by two Ukrainian army helicopters, which entered Russian territory at low altitude," the regional governor said Friday. The governor said nobody was killed.

Belgorod, north of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, is a major supply hub for Russian forces. "If these unconfirmed reports are correct—flying at night, well into Russian territory, to launch an attack on an enemy fuel depot would have required extraordinary bravery—as well as finely honed flying skills," says BBC correspondent Jonathan Beale. He says that while the alleged attack won't "dramatically alter the battle," it could "show Ukraine has managed to keep its air force functioning, and give a huge boost to the morale of Ukraine's military."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the strike was not "something that can be perceived as creating comfortable conditions" for the continuation of peace talks, which are set to resume Friday, the AP reports. He said Vladimir Putin had been told about the strike and Russia is working to ensure fuel supplies are not disrupted. (Read more Russia-Ukraine conflict stories.)

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