Suspected Ukrainian missile strikes have blown up two oil storage facilities supplying President Vladimir Putin’s troops fighting for control of Donbas.
Flames lit up the sky over Russia in the early hours of Monday, at the Transneft-Druzhba Oil Depot, located in the city of Bryansk around 70 miles from the Ukrainian border; it caught fire at 2am local time before a second fire broke out at a nearby military facility around 15 minutes later, Russian state media said on Monday morning.
One of the fires broke out in the video of the moment appeared to capture the sound of an incoming missile before a large explosion and fireball. Bryansk is a logistical hub for Russian forces battling Ukraine in Donbas, while the Druzhba pipeline is one of the main routes for Russian oil to reach Europe.
The blasts came as British intelligence said Russia had “yet to achieve a significant breakthrough” of defensive lines in Donbas despite Ukraine imposing a “significant cost” on Putin’s forces.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said poor logistical and combat support were hampering Russia’s advances, as they did in the failed effort to take Kyiv.
According to the report, Ukrainian defenders holed up in the Azovstal steel works in the southern city of Mariupol – which is still under siege – were also pinning down “many Russian units” and preventing them from redeploying to the Donbas front, while also exhausting Putin’s troops and reducing their combat effectiveness, the MoD added.
Russia’s war on Ukraine – which was intended to take just days and end with the toppling of its pro-Western government – is now into its third month, with Kyiv claiming to have killed almost 22,000 Russian soldiers while destroying military equipment worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.
In that time, Putin’s army has suffered a number of embarrassing losses – most notably the Moskva missile cruiser, which is thought to have been destroyed by Ukrainian missiles. The seeming inability to prevent Ukraine from striking targets inside Russia with missiles is also likely causing red faces inside the Kremlin.