Ukrainian attack helicopters struck an oil facility in Belgorod, across the border inside Russia, destroying fuel reserves the sale of which has been helping finance the invasion.
Eight fuel tanks—each with a volume of 2,000 cubic meters—are reportedly on fire in Belgorod, a military city located on the Seversky Donets River 25 miles north of the Russian border with Ukraine.
Emergency services on the sceme said there is a threat that the fire may spread to another 8 fuel tanks, and possibly more.
Video showing two Ukrainian attack helicopters, which appear to be Mi-24 Hind gunships, striking an Belgorod oil depot with air-ground rockets, were posted on Twitter.
Ukrainian ballistic missiles hit a Russian airbase early in the conflict, and some time ago they struck fuel train cars with a drone but this is the most assertive counterattack inside Russia since Russian President Vladimir Putin initiated the fighting on February 24.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine began Europe’s first major war in decades and the largest land war on the continent since World War II.
Moscow has faced numerous setbacks on the battlefield — with more than 20,000 casualties, eight dead generals, 500 tanks lost, and at least 100 planes shot down—yet Putin seems undeterred from his campaign to take Ukraine.
Ukrainian and Russian officials met in early March, and tentatively agreed on the need to humanitarian corridors — basically, safe zones for civilians to flee and supplies to pass through — but did not reach agreements on a larger ceasefire.
Multiple attempts to evacuate Ukrainian civilians have been halted because of Russian shelling.