Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Live updates: Russia invades Ukraine, Zelensky removes two top generals

An image of the fire at the depot shared on social media.
An image of the fire at the depot shared on social media. @Ancelle_/Twitter

A fire broke out at a fuel depot in Belgorod, a Russian city near the Ukrainian border, the regional governor said on his Telegram channel Friday morning.

Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Belgorod region, accused Ukraine of being behind the blaze without providing further evidence.

“The fire at the oil depot occurred as a result of an air strike coming from two helicopters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces which entered the territory of the Russian Federation flying at a low altitude. There are no victims,” ​​said Gladkov.

CNN is unable to verify this claim.

The fire “engulfed fuel reservoirs,” Russian state media TASS reported, citing the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.

Two employees of the depot were injured in the fire but their lives are not in danger, Gladkov said. Residents in the vicinity of the depot are being evacuated, he added.

The emergency services are at the scene fighting the fire, and there is no threat to the population of the city, Gladkov said.

On Wednesday, Gladkov said separate explosions at an ammunition dump in Belgorod region late Tuesday night may have occurred because of a fire, citing preliminary information.

Some context: Belgorod is close to the northeastern Ukraine-Russia border, beyond which lies the major Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The Belgorod area was used as a staging ground for Russian forces shortly before the invasion, and Kharkiv has since been relentlessly shelled and hit with missiles.

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