Russia reports southern blasts, Ukraine calls revenge for invasion

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia reported a series of explosions in the south of the country and a fire at an ammunition depot on Wednesday, the latest in a string of incidents that a senior Ukrainian official described as revenge and “karma” for the invasion. of the country made by Moscow.

Without directly admitting that Ukraine was responsible, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said it was only natural that Russian regions where fuel and weapons are stored were learning about “demilitarization”.

The use of that word was a punctual reference to Moscow’s declared objective for the nine-week war in Ukraine, which it calls a special military operation to disarm and “denazify” its neighbour.

“If you (Russians) decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to allow the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be paid,” he said. Podolyak.

Wednesday’s explosions followed a massive fire this week at a Russian oil storage facility in the Bryansk region near the border.

Earlier this month, Russia accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters, which a senior Kiev security official denied, and of opening fire on several villages in the province.

The incidents exposed Russian vulnerabilities in areas near Ukraine that are vital to its military supply chains.

‘KARMA IS CRUEL’

In the latest incidents, Belgorod Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said that a fire at an ammunition depot had been extinguished and that no civilians had been injured.

Roman Starovoyt, the governor of Kursk, another province that borders Ukraine, said explosions had also been heard in the city of Kursk earlier on Wednesday and that, most likely, the sounds of air defense systems were going off.

He later said that a Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicle was intercepted in the sky over the Kursk region, adding that there were no casualties or damage.

In Voronezh, the administrative center of another southern province, the Tass news agency quoted an Emergencies Ministry official as saying that two explosions had been heard and that authorities were investigating.

Regional Governor Alexander Gusev said in the morning that an air defense system had detected and destroyed a small reconnaissance drone.

Russia said it was sending investigators to the Kursk and Voronezh regions to document what it called “illegal actions by the Ukrainian army”.

Podolyak said it was not possible to “stay out” of the Russian invasion. “And so disarming the warehouses of the assassins in Belgorod and Voronezh is an absolutely natural process. Karma is a cruel thing,” he said.

(Reporting by Caleb Davis, Mark Trevelyan and Max Hunder)

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