Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Attacking A Fuel Storage In Belgorod With A Helicopter

According to Russian media, two low-flying attack helicopters raced over the southern Russian city of Belgorod early Friday, firing rockets and blowing up gasoline tanks. Vyacheslav Gladkov, the local governor, quickly blamed Ukraine for the incident. It was not possible to verify the assertion. Early Friday, a video of the attack appeared on Russian Telegram channels, and local media stated that eight fuel tanks were on fire, with the possibility of the fire spreading, and that at least 19 individuals from nearby neighborhoods had been evacuated.

When asked about the suspicions of Ukrainian involvement, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated he couldn’t confirm or refute the assertion since he didn’t have all the required military information. During the war, Ukraine has never struck targets in Russian territory. On March 27, Russia’s military announced that it had targeted a gasoline station in Lviv, western Ukraine, in a rare strike on the city that has become a haven for diplomats and Ukrainians.
Ukraine’s military spokesman, Oleksandr Motuzyanyk, stated on Friday that Ukraine was not to blame for Russian disasters and occurrences. He wouldn’t confirm or deny Ukrainian involvement, but he did say it wasn’t the first time Russia has made similar claims.

Ukraine’s operation was defensive, with the goal of “resisting Russia’s military aggression on Ukrainian soil,” according to Motuzyanyk. Following Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukrainian forces took a defensive strategy, focusing on Kyiv and other key cities, and have been retaking communities surrounding the city and along the front lines in recent days.
Oleksiy Arestovych, a presidential adviser in Ukraine, agreed with his colleagues that Ukraine was focused on self-defense. “Perhaps someone smoked in the wrong area,” he speculated, adding that “anything that occurs on Russian territory is the responsibility of the Russian government.” All inquiries should be directed to them.”

President Vladimir Putin has been informed of the event, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “This is not anything that can be viewed as establishing conditions favorable for the continuation of negotiations,” he added, adding that it was “definitely” an escalation. Russia’s control over its airspace, according to Peskov, is unquestionable. In terms of what happened, he stated that “it is up to our law enforcement officials, not us, to make assessments.”

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A series of explosions happened at a Belgorod ammunition storage facility on Tuesday. The explosions were initially attributed to gunfire from the Ukrainian side by Russian media, but officials later blamed the booms on a fire on the premises.
The latest incident could jeopardize progress in discussions between the two parties aimed at striking a peace settlement, which is now at a critical point after Ukraine gave Russia concessions in exchange for a military pullout on Tuesday.

 Russian negotiators said Tuesday that Moscow’s forces will de-escalate military operations between Kyiv and Chernihiv in order to “establish trust,” focusing their struggle on eastern Ukraine. The announcement sparked indignation among hard-line state television hosts, analysts, and social media users alike. “We don’t believe anyone, not a single lovely sentence,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in one of his regular remarks Thursday, referring to Russia’s announcement of a de-escalation. Officials in the United States have been suspicious of Moscow’s announcement, interpreting it as a hint that Russia is regrouping and reorganising its attack.

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