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A Russian official is accusing Ukraine of launching airstrikes on an oil depot in the border city of Belgorod Friday despite reports that the attack may have been a false-flag operation to further justify Moscow’s brutal assault on Ukraine.
Russia’s regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram that two Ukrainian helicopters started the fire that erupted at the facility, injuring two workers, according to Reuters.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, when asked Friday who was behind the blasts, said he could “neither confirm nor reject the claim that Ukraine was involved in this simply because I do not possess all the military information.”
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Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said it is conducting defensive operations and can’t be held responsible for “every catastrophe on Russia’s territory,” Reuters reported.
A German journalist also claimed that Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces has denied having knowledge of the attack and suggested it could have been a Russian false-flag operation.
Purported footage of the incident showed what appeared to be missiles being fired from a low altitude prior to an explosion, Reuters reports.
The footage could not be independently verified.
A witness in the Russian border city later told Reuters that another blast was heard following the initial explosion.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed about the events and that they “cannot be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for continuing” peace talks with Ukraine, Reuters also reported.
Peace talks between the two sides resumed Friday by video link.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.