Several unknown projectiles landed and exploded in Russia’s Western region of Belgorod on Friday, damaging a power line and a residential house. The blasts were heard in the region’s eponymous capital, according to local governor Vyacheslav Gladkov.
“We’re dealing with the consequences [of the explosions]. The most important thing is that no one was hurt. I went to the site – near the villages of Nikolskoye and Yasnye Zori. Examined the sites of the explosions,” Gladkov said in a Telegram post, sharing pictures of a large crater and debris on the site.
Dashcam footage circulating online purports to show the moment one of the projectiles, apparently the one that damaged the power line, landed. The munition, appearing to be a large unguided rocket, struck by the side of a road, sending a large fountain of soil into the air.
It was not immediately clear where exactly the projectiles came from, with the authorities abstaining from assigning blame for the incident.
Earlier in the day, helicopters launched missiles at a civilian oil depot on the outskirts of Belgorod, causing a major fire at the facility. The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that two Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopters crossed the border by flying close to the ground and struck the terminal. Kiev, however, refused to confirm or deny its involvement in the incident.
Moscow attacked its neighbor in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.