For a month now, there have been individual reports of unexplained fires, explosions, attacks and, in some cases, “interventions from above”. However, the goal is not the civilian areas in Ukraine, but Russian strategic places. Chemical factories, ammunition and oil depots or the heart of Russian cosmonautics.
It is not known who is behind the attacks. According to the Russian side, Ukrainian drones are to blame, and obsolete wiring is the second time.
However, fires of strategic goals also take place ten thousand kilometers from the Ukrainian border. An explanation in the form of sabotage by Russians who are dissatisfied with the regime and who do not agree with Putin’s war will also inevitably be offered. However, so-called false flag attacks, which would justify further action in Ukraine, cannot be ruled out.
The article has no ambition to “look for the culprit”, it only presents an overview of selected April incidents on Russian territory.
Staraja Nelidovka (ammunition depot)
The most recent contribution from a series of unexplained fires is Wednesday’s incident from the Belgorod region, when a fire broke out in the village of Staraya Nelidovka in an ammunition depot. According to Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, the locals were awakened at about half past three in the morning by loud noises, probably explosions. There were no injuries or damage to the residential buildings. But the ammunition depot was engulfed in flames.
The fire was extinguished and, according to the Russian server Kommersant, did not cause any damage. This is the second fire in the Belgorod region since the beginning of April, where, according to the Russian media, a “warning against terrorist attacks” applies until May 10.
Ussuriysk (air base)
Sabotage is also speculated about 10,000 kilometers from the Ukrainian border. An air base caught fire in the Siberian city of Ussuriysk near the Chinese border on Monday. According to a commentary accompanying the video on social networks, the fire in the area “probably caused high daytime temperatures”.
Russia has not yet officially commented on the incident. The culprit was found at least by users of social networks, who jokingly point to the “Holy Fire”.
A military air force base is on fire in Ussuriysk, Russia – near China border.
In the past 24 hours, the following have been sabotaged:
Bryansk People’s Republic – oil depot, military base, meat processing plant
Police stations in: Moscow, Irkutsk, and Novosibirsk. pic.twitter.com/Uwf9o0rfbv
– Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) April 25, 2022
Bryansk (military and civilian fuel depots)
The Russians had to deal with two fires in Bryansk. Bryansk, located about 150 kilometers from the Ukrainian border and 380 kilometers from Moscow, is the administrative center of the area of the same name.
Russian state media reported that the first fire occurred in a civilian facility with 10,000 tons of fuel, followed by a second fire in a military fuel depot with 5,000 tons.
Even in this case, the culprit is not clear. According to the local governor, the anti-aircraft defense shot down two Ukrainian drones in the Kursk region, which also borders Ukraine. Russian security services said in the Telegram that the Ukrainians were to blame.
Military analyst Rob Lee confirmed to the Guardian that it could be a Ukrainian sabotage. “It sounds like something was flying through the air before the explosion. “I think it was probably a Ukrainian attack, but we can’t be sure,” Lee said.
“The fact that it was two places not far from the border is important,” said the analyst, adding that the Tochka-U tactical ballistic missile could have caused the fires.
According to News Bryansk, the preliminary damage caused by the fire is estimated at 230 million rubles, including destroyed fuel for 180 million. The Russian Ministry of Energy stated that there was no threat to fuel supplies for the Bryansk region, which was supplied by the burned-out area.
‼ ️ In the Russian city of Bryansk (110 km from the Ukrainian border), two giant fires are raging after audible explosions.
According to initial information, two oil depots are on fire, one at a refinery belonging to Rosneft and the other near a military base. pic.twitter.com/170sKS3Mcf
– Television List (@televizeseznam) April 25, 2022
Mysteries do not only happen in the case of ammunition and oil depots. On April 23, part of the hydroelectric power plant in Kuban, Russia, collapsed for unknown reasons. Engineers and local authorities reassure local people that there is no danger of flooding the surrounding villages. In this case, many attribute the as yet unexplained cause to sabotage actions.
According to the Russian side, an investigation is currently underway.
The 4th incident in 2 days. This time Fedorovsky hydroelectric complex collapsed in Kuban, Russia. Emergency officials stressed there is no danger of flooding of nearby settlements and it is under investigation. Really feels like an FSB operation but will wait for more details pic.twitter.com/feGl6MHEG7
– Olga Lautman 🇺🇦 (@ OlgaNYC1211) April 23, 2022
Korolyov (space center)
During Friday afternoon, footage of black smoke rising from Korolyov, near Moscow, the capital of Russia’s space industry, began to multiply on social media.
The Korolyov City Security and Civil Defense Center later said that “the roof of the building began to burn in the industrial zone.” The fire allegedly occurred as a result of construction work.
According to the server L’Independant, the fire hit the building of the Russian space center Rocket and Space Corporation Energie SP Korolyov. The company with a turnover of over 8 billion euros is one of the leading representatives of the Russian space industry.
Ukrainan News points out that local authorities have been silent for a long time and have not explained exactly how the fire occurred. Information about the fire did not appear on the pages of local newspapers, despite the fact that the fire was unmissable and its footage circulated on social networks.
Kineshma (chemical factory)
Two fires in Russia’s military-industrial infrastructure took place on Thursday, April 21.
One thousand kilometers from the Ukrainian border lies one of the largest Russian chemical plants and the site of the largest producer of chemical solvents in the country. However, this time the Dmitriev chemical plants were not famous for the amount of butyl acetate or industrial solvents produced. The fire on the social networks aroused interest again.
It is not clear what caused the fire or whether anyone was injured. On the same day, however, it was at least the second place in Russia, which unexpectedly caught fire.
UPDATE: The largest Russian manufacturer of chemical solvents – The Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant, blown up today, was a key supplier of propellants for the Russian military. 250 miles EAST of Moscow. Russian saboteurs knew exactly what to hit. This is BIG.pic.twitter.com/537LLI2JR7
– Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) April 22, 2022
Tver (military research institute)
However, the fire at the military research institute in the northwestern city of Tver did not go unnoticed. At least 17 people died and, according to Russian media, more than 25 were injured. Ten people are reportedly missing.
Footage of thick “poisonous blue smoke” rising from the yellow four-story building of the Central Research Institute of the Russian Air and Space Force was also broadcast on Russian television. According to witnesses, several employees on the upper floors tried to save themselves from the stifling smoke by jumping out the windows.
According to initial reports, a top-secret research institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which was involved in the development of the deadly Iskander missiles in Ukraine, started burning on the second floor.
UNCONFIRMED RUMOR: The Aerospace Defense Research Institute building in Tver, about 2.5 hours from the Kremlin, apparently housed some kind of military satellite control room utilized for war in Ukraine. Russian saboteurs knew exactly what to hit. BIG DEAL.pic.twitter.com/M17PCaeFgB
– Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) April 22, 2022
According to Russia, the fire could have caused a fault in the electrical installation. Judging by the color of the escaping smoke, there was also speculation about a chemical leak.
The series of fires was started on April 1 by a fire in an oil warehouse in the city of Belgorod. The Russian version of the event speaks of an attack by two Ukrainian helicopters. The head of the Ukrainian Security Council, Oleksiy Danilov, has denied that Ukraine has anything to do with the fire.
Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said two employees were injured in the fire and some urban areas had to be evacuated. The Russian oil company Rosneft, which owns the fuel depot, said in a separate statement that no one was injured. She also did not provide information about what caused the fire.