According to a Russian official, two Ukrainian military helicopters attacked a gasoline store in the Russian city of Belgorod on Friday, marking the first time that Russia has accused Ukraine of conducting an air assault on Russian territory since Moscow invaded its neighbour on February 24.
The supposed assault was captured on video and shared online, and the photographs showed what seemed to be numerous missiles being launched from a low height, followed by an explosion. Reuters has not been able to independently authenticate the photographs as of yet.
It was caused by an air attack carried out by two Ukrainian army helicopters that invaded Russian territory at a low altitude, according to regional governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, who posted the information on his Telegram messaging channel.
Mr Gladkov went on to say that two employees were hurt as a consequence of the following conflagration, and that several portions of the city, which is close to the Ukrainian border, were evacuated.
According to the Russian emergency ministry, some 170 people were attempting to extinguish the flames.
The owner of the gasoline store, the Russian oil company Rosneft, stated in a separate statement that no one was injured in the incident, however it did not provide any more details on the reason. In addition, the business informed Russian news media that it had evacuated its employees from the building.
The Ukrainian defence ministry did not respond to requests for comment immediately.
On Wednesday, a fire broke out at an ammunition storage in Belgorod, resulting in a series of explosions. Mr Gladkov said at the time that officials were waiting for the Russian defence ministry to determine the reason of the incident.
Belgorod is located around 40 kilometres from Russia’s border with Ukraine and approximately 80 kilometres from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, which has been pounded by Russian troops since Moscow commenced its assault on the country on February 24.