UKRAINE ON THE OFFENSIVE! Footage shows choppers reportedly hitting depot INSIDE Russia
Russian governor claims Ukraine struck a facility close to the border, two workers were injured in second Ukrainian attack on Russian territory
An oil storage facility in the Russian city of Belgorod was hit early on April 1, 2022. Regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said the attack was carried out by Ukraine injured two workers at the facility. Video images of the attack have also been released, showing two missiles being fired from helicopters at low altitudes. The attack has led to evacuations of some areas of Belgorod, which is just 25 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border.
The shocking development comes amidst an effort by Russia to change its war strategy. After a month of brutal fighting, the Russians announced they were going to focus on the Donbas region, and possibly end military actions in the rest of Ukraine. However, on-ground reports continue to indicate shelling in cities such as Kyiv. At the same time, accusations of human rights abuse continue to be levied against the Russians, who are reportedly deserting and surrendering in large numbers.
So far, Ukraine has largely run defensive operations only, hitting Russian convoys and military set-ups all around the country. The only exception was the February 25 attack on the Millerovo Air Base in the Rostov region, which was hit by missiles launched from Ukraine. The nation never took credit for the attack, but intelligence reports suggested it was indeed a Ukrainian operation.
Did Ukraine attack Russian oil facility?
In a similar vein to the Millerovo attack, Russia has claimed Ukraine launched an operation in Belgorod, which so far the Ukrainians have not acknowledged, or denied. At around 5:43 AM, two Mil Mi-24 helicopter gunships launched missiles at a facility that belongs to Russian oil firm Rosneft. The explosion injured two workers, but beyond that Gladkov did not say what the extent of the damage was.
In late March, Russia claimed Ukraine hit a weapons storage depot near the city. It was however found later that the explosion was caused by human error, not military action. However, the strike on April 1 was clearly the result of military action, as social media footage shows missiles being fired from low altitudes. The footage doesn't show the helicopters themselves, so it is also possible the missiles could have been fired from elsewhere.
It's unclear at the moment if Ukraine indeed launched the attack since the nation isn't responding to requests for comment. The US and other western officials have also warned that it is likely a false-flag operation conducted by Russia, mostly to drum up support for the war. Since the choppers themselves aren't visible, it is hard to say where they came from. Here's a look at just one of the many videos now going viral from the attack.
"#Belgorod oil depot in #Russia burning after #Ukraine's helicopters bombed it," one person tweeted, showing footage of the facility on fire. Another account tweeted, "Video of helicopter flying over Belgorod(authenticity not confirmed)."
Video of helicopter flying over Belgorod(authenticity not confirmed) pic.twitter.com/3wAyEcLMVE— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) April 1, 2022
If Ukraine did indeed launch the strike, it would be the first attack by a foreign nation on Russian soil since World War 2, when Nazi Germany launched 'Operation Barbossa' against the USSR.