A series of explosions were reported in several Russian provinces bordering Ukraine early Wednesday, and a fire broke out at an ammunition depot in the city of Belgorod, which is about 20 miles north of the Ukrainian border.
Blasts were also reported in the provinces of Kursk and Voronezh in the latest suspected Ukrainian attacks inside Russian territory.
On Monday, Ukraine reportedly launched strikes on two oil depots in the Russian city of Bryansk, which is about 70 miles from Ukraine’s border, deeper inside Russian territory than other reported Ukrainian attacks. Russian media reported major fires in Bryansk at a military facility holding 10,000 tons of fuel, and a second fire at a military fuel depot holding 5,000 tons.
A source told Middle East Eye that the Ukrainians are believed to have used a Turkish-made TB2 Bayraktar drone in the Bryansk attack. While Ankara hasn’t been nearly as hawkish towards Russia as other NATO members in the current conflict, Ukraine has purchased military equipment from Turkey for years.
Since 2019, Ukraine has bought dozens of Bayraktar drones from Turkey. The first reported use of the drones by Kyiv happened in October 2021, when Ukraine targeted a mobile artillery unit in the eastern Donbas region.
Ukraine hasn’t taken responsibility for attacks inside Russia, but Ukrainian officials have hinted at involvement. Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said Wednesday that “when you massively attack another country … then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid.”
The reported Ukrainian attacks inside Russia come as the US and its European allies are flooding weapons into Ukraine and are encouraging Kyiv to strike inside Russian territory. On Tuesday, the UK’s armed services minister said it was “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to be hitting targets inside Russia to disrupt logistics and added that it was “not necessarily a problem” if the Ukrainians carried out such attacks using weapons provided by London.