Russian military warehouse bursts into flames close to Ukrainian border

A Russian military factory 118 miles from the border with Ukraine has burst into flames just two days after a neighbouring region was overrun by pro-Ukrianian forces. A huge plume of black smoke could be seen billowing from the warehouse that had been hired vicariously by a private contractor for the Russian ministry of defence. The factory was known for manufacturing the Uran-9, an unmanned ground combat vehicle that has failed to make it on the Ukrainian battlefield due to technical issues.

The fire broke out at 8.28am local time (5.28am GMT) and was extinguished within 45 minutes, according to local reports.

It took place in the village of Dyatkovo, in the northern part of the Bryansk region, near Belarus.

Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that the fire broke out in the warehouse of the Crystal Factory.

The building is used by LLC NPP Alexander, a developer of optical parts and systems for space and military equipment, a contractor of the Ministry of Defense.

The enterprise distinguished itself by having manufactured the Uran-9 tracked unmanned combat ground vehicle with the use of their own products.

The vehicle is intended for fire support of ground forces during hostilities and reconnaissance.

It was first used in battle during the civil war in Syria but was quickly pulled from the conflict due to major technical issues.

Anton Geraschenko, an advisor to Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, shared a photo of the aftermath of the warehouse fire.

His caption read: “A warehouse where a plant used to be is on fire in Dyatkovo, Bryansk region of Russia. Rescue services at work. What could have been stored in that warehouse, I wonder?”

Ukrainians on Twitter were quick to make the now-familiar joke that the fire had been started by Russians “smoking again”.

Earlier, the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC) claimed to have “completely liberated” the settlement of Kozinka in Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, while also entering the town of Grayvoron.

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The local administration declared a “counter-terrorism operation”, according to Belgorod Oblast Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. Most residents in the Grayvoron district were evacuated.

The attack in Belgorod infuriated the Kremlin as Russian state media made a number of unverified claims regarding the offensive and its subsequent death count.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the President’s Office, said that Ukraine had no connection to the actions of the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion in Belgorod Oblast.

There have been dozens of unexplained fires in Russia, particularly on its western flank next to Ukraine, since the turn of the year.

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