Airstrike Allegedly Hits Target in Russia

Airstrike Allegedly Hits Target in Russia

( – Ukraine’s defenders might have taken the war to Russia, according to reports over the weekend. Russia is accusing Ukraine of launching an attack on a fuel depot near the city of Belgorod.

On April 1, Russia claimed two Ukrainian attack helicopters crossed the border and attacked a fuel depot 22 miles inside Russia. Video footage shows a pair of Mi-24 HIND-E attack helicopters firing volleys of unguided rockets from close range, followed by a large fireball. The helicopters then escape, flying low and fast over an urban area.

Russia has condemned the attack; Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says the strike “cannot be perceived as creating comfortable conditions” for renewed peace talks.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s foreign ministry is refusing to confirm or deny responsibility for the strike, which left the fuel depot ablaze. Russian forces in Ukraine have been struggling with poor logistics, and destroying fuel supplies would increase those problems.

An investigative journalism group is now claiming the Russians accidentally hit the depot themselves and are blaming Ukraine. Local media in Belgorod has released photos of craters they say were caused by Ukrainian rockets. However, the standard rocket carried by the HIND-E is the S-5, which has a 2.5-lb warhead. The Ukraine-based Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) says the size and shape of the craters suggest they were made by the 1,750-lb warheads of Russian SS-26 Iskander-M missiles launched from well inside Russia.

So, who’s telling the truth? The craters are much too large to have been caused by S-5 rockets, which, like the HIND-E helicopter, are used by both sides in this war. On the other hand, there’s definitely a video of helicopters attacking something in Belgorod, and the craters aren’t at the fuel depot; they’re outside the city.

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