Explosions were seen and heard at an ammunition depot in Russia's Belgorod province in the wee hours of Wednesday in what is being suspected to be a missile strike by Ukraine in retaliation to constant shelling on civilians by Putin's forces in Ukraine. According to Russian media, the ammunition depot is near the village of Staraya Nelidovka.
Besides, two other explosions are also heard in the nearby regions that share borders with Ukraine. According to reports, Ukrainian forces are expected to make more strikes in the region. Russian forces and anti-air defense systems have been kept on high alert expecting more strikes.
Ukraine Hits Back
Video footage shows a missile falling on the ammunition depot which immediately explodes. According to Russian news agency TASS, the fire broke out in the early hours of Wednesday in the village of Staraya Nelidovka, around 20 miles from the Ukrainian border. Belgorod's regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote about the fire on Telegram.
"According to preliminary information, an ammunition dump is on fire near the village of Staraya Nelidovka," Gladkov wrote. He later said the fire had been extinguished, and there was no damage to nearby houses or civilian injuries.
Russia stated it had shot down Ukrainian drones that had infiltrated Russian territory, and air defenses were active over the neighboring districts of Kursk and Voronezh.
Without outright admitting the allegations, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said it was "karma" for Russia and that they deserved to learn about "demilitarization," a dig at Putin's ostensible war objectives.
"If you decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to enable the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid," Podolyak said.
"Therefore, the disarmament of the Belgorod and Voronezh killers' warehouses is an absolutely natural process. Karma is a cruel thing," he added.
A journalist with the UK Defence Journal, a defense news website, tweeted one of the photographs of the fire on Twitter. The video shows the ammunition depot on fire while huge explosions are heard.
No Signs of Peace
It seems the peace talks are going nowhere, with Putin in no mood to stop, while Ukrainian forces too are now striking inside Russia. Besides, the fire at the ammunition depot, residents of Voronezh, which is more than 100 miles from the Ukrainian border, reported two explosions overnight to the city's southwest.
A video captured early in the morning showed what appeared to be an air defense missile's white exhaust trail traversing the sky, with an impact cloud hanging in the air. A reconnaissance drone was shot down, according to RIA Novosti, Russia's leading state news agency.
Explosions were also heard 60 miles from the border near the city of Kursk, with a video appearing to show flames glowing against a gloomy sky. Unconfirmed sources claimed that other drones were shot down above Oboyan, a village to the south of Kursk.
In the early hours of Monday, Russian news media reported that a major fire had broken out at a gasoline depot facility in Bryansk. The government's press office was quoted by TASS as saying, "The Emergency Situations Ministry has confirmed there is a fire." "It's also confirmed that it's the fuel tanks," says the source.
With missile attacks and a helicopter raid targeting fuel and ammo dumps, Belgorod has been the most heavily targeted. In the same area, a railway bridge was also targeted in what is widely believed to be a sabotage attempt by Ukrainian special forces.
Belgorod is a crucial staging location for Russian soldiers moving to the Donbas region of Ukraine, where a major effort to retake the country's eastern half is presently underway.