Oil depots were ablaze in both Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday as both sides escalated a drone war targeting infrastructure ahead of Kyiv’s planned spring counter-offensive to try to end Moscow’s all-out invasion.
Scores of firefighters battled a huge fire that Russian authorities blamed on a Ukrainian drone crashing into an oil terminal on Russia’s side of the bridge it built to occupied Crimea.
In Ukraine, a fuel depot was also on fire after a suspected Russian drone strike on the central city of Kropyvnytskyi.
On Saturday, a suspected Ukrainian drone strike caused a fire at a Russian oil terminal in occupied Crimea. On Monday, Russia hit dozens of homes and an industrial enterprise in Dnipropetrovsk region that Kyiv did not identify. And blasts have derailed freight trains in Russia’s Bryansk region adjacent to Ukraine for the past two days in a row.
Moscow says its long range attacks have struck military targets, though it has produced no evidence to support this.
Kyiv does not comment on incidents in Russia or occupied Crimea but says destroying infrastructure supporting the Russian military in Ukraine is part of preparation for its planned ground assault, ready to begin at any time.
Flames and black smoke billowed over large tanks emblazoned with red warnings of “Flammable” in videos posted on Russian social media of the burning fuel depot near the Crimea bridge.