Huge explosions rocked an oil storage depot in Bryansk city in Russia on Monday morning in a suspected strike by Ukraine. A second unconfirmed fire was reported at a military facility near the 120th arsenal of the Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate, where a military unit of the 120th arsenal is stationed.
Although there has been no official confirmation, Russia has claimed that the strikes were made by Ukrainian forces. Large fires have been reported raging across the region, with some reports speculating that they may be the result of a suspected Ukrainian strike on an oil pipeline bringing oil from Russia to Europe via Ukraine and Belarus.
Ukraine Hits Back
According to reports and videos on social media, a huge blaze has broken out at an oil storage depot and a military facility in central Russia following a suspected strike by Ukraine. The huge explosions erupted near the Druzhba oil depot in Bryansk city and could be seen from the entire city.
While just one fire was initially reported, later reports said that two Transneft oil facilities were ablaze. The oil storage station is anticipated to be critical in supplying Russia's soldiers as they push to reclaim control of the Donbas.
The city of Bryansk is around 240 miles from Moscow and borders Ukraine. Residents in the neighborhood of the burning oil depot were being evacuated. The Transneft-operated Druzhba pipeline is the world's longest oil pipeline and one of the world's largest oil pipeline networks.
A fire was also reported at the military base, although the Russian authorities did not confirm it. The Russian Emergencies Ministry initially reported a fire in the regions of the military facility on Moskovsky Avenue, but then removed the information.
The second incident, according to Telegram channel Voenny Osvedomitel, was apparently at the Main Rocket and Artillery Directorate's 120th arsenal. Videos posted on social media show huge explosions engulfing the sky, which were visible from as far as 15 miles.
The Russian state media also confirmed the explosions saying that the strikes were made by Ukraine. According to TASS, oil storage tanks at a Bryansk oil depot caught fire on Monday.
"The Emergency Situations Ministry has confirmed there's a fire,' the government's press office said. 'There's also a confirmation that it's the fuel tanks."
Reports of the blaze come just days after another huge fire at the Second Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in Tver.
Putin's invasion of Ukraine is already in its third month, with thousands of people killed and tens of thousands more homeless. This is the second time Russia has claimed responsibility for a Ukrainian counter-offensive.
Ukraine dispatched attack helicopters across the border on April 1 to strike an oil storage facility, according to Moscow. Ukraine denied responsibility for the strike, raising suspicions about whether Russians were involved.
Bryansk is around 286 miles southwest of Moscow and 295 miles southwest of Kyiv, Ukraine's capital. The city serves as the administrative center of the Bryansk area, which is located on the Ukrainian border.