Ukraine launches strikes in Russian territory

The attacks affected diverse military facilities and a gas terminal.

Ukrainian military intelligence has confirmed that it carried out drone strikes on a Russian gas terminal and several military facilities in different regions of Russia on Sunday.

A source from the Ukrainian military intelligence told RBK that a Ukrainian drone hit the Novatek liquefied gas terminal in Ust-Luga, on the Gulf of Finland, causing a massive fire.

“The strike was accurate. It ignited a huge blaze, which forced the Russians to evacuate the workers,” the source said. The terminal is situated 110 km west of Saint Petersburg, on the Baltic Sea coast and 1,000 km away from the Ukrainian border. “The terminal processes fuel that supplies the Russian army. By attacking this terminal, we not only inflict economic damage to the enemy, but also disrupt the fuel supply for the Russian army,” the source added.

Ust-Luga is 35 kilometers from the Estonian border and nearly 1,000 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. It is located in the Leningrad region, where two other attacks on oil storage facilities were reported earlier this week, also claimed by Ukraine.

In addition, Ukrainian military intelligence sources told various Ukrainian media outlets that they targeted a factory that produces Pantsir-S air defense missile systems in Tula, south of Moscow, and an aviation plant in Smolensk, west of Moscow.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it shot down five Ukrainian fixed-wing drones over the regions of Smolensk and Tula during the night. According to a statement published on Telegram, four drones were destroyed in Smolensk, near the Belarusian border, and one drone was intercepted in Tula.

At the same time, a fire broke out at the Ust-Luga terminal, which Novatek – Russia’s largest exporter of liquefied gas – attributed to an “external factor”. This week, Ukraine also took responsibility for two attacks on oil depots in Russian territory, one in the Leningrad region, where Ust-Luga is, and another that sparked a fierce fire in the Bryansk region, on the border with Ukraine.

The Kremlin is trying to show that the conflict with Ukraine does not affect the lives of Russians, ahead of the presidential elections in March, but Kyiv is escalating its drone and missile attacks on its soil.

On Sunday morning, local authorities attempted to calm the public despite the scale of the fire and the huge smoke seen in videos on social networks. “There were no casualties (…). The staff were evacuated,” Aleksandr Drozdenko, the governor of Leningrad, posted on Telegram. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and local firefighters were involved in extinguishing the fire, he said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sunday that it “foiled” Ukrainian attacks during the night, without mentioning any incidents in the Leningrad region for now.

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