Ukraine attacked a gas terminal and military facilities in Russia

In this photo posted by Leningrad Region Governor Alexander Drozdenko’s Telegram channel, firefighters extinguish the fire at Russia’s second largest natural gas producer, Novatek in Ust-Luga, 165 kilometers southwest of St. Petersburg, Russia , on Sunday, January 21, 2024. (Telegram channel of the governor of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, via AP)

The ukrainian military intelligence claimed responsibility this Sunday for the attacks against a Russian gas terminal on the coast of the Baltic Sea and against various military facilities in the Russian regions of Smolensk, Tula and Oryol.

According to a Ukrainian military intelligence source cited by RBK, the fire declared at the liquefied gas terminal operated by Novatek in Ust-Lugain the Gulf of Finland, is due to the impact of a Ukrainian drone.

The blow was precise. It started a big fire, which is still going on. The Russians were forced to evacuate the employees,” said a source. The plant is located 110 km west of St. Petersburg, on the shores of the Baltic Sea and 1,000 km from the border with Ukraine.

Fuel is processed there, which, in particular, goes to the Russian army. “A successful attack on this terminal not only causes economic losses to the enemy, depriving it of the opportunity to make money from the war in Ukraine, but also significantly complicates fuel logistics for the Russian army,” he added.

Ust-Luga is located 35 kilometers from the border with Estonia and almost a thousand kilometers from the border with Ukraine, although in the Leningrad region, where it is located, two incidents had already been recorded this week against crude oil deposits claimed as attacks by kyiv.

Ukraine claimed responsibility for attacks on gas terminal and military facilities in Russia
A fire broke out on Sunday at a chemical transport terminal in the Russian port of Ust-Luga after two explosions, regional officials reported. Local media reported that the port had been attacked by Ukrainian drones, causing a gas tank to explode. (Telegram channel of the governor of the Leningrad region, Alexander Drozdenko, via AP)

Meanwhile, according to what military intelligence services told several Ukrainian media, the target in Tula, south of Moscow, was a plant where Pantsir-S anti-aircraft missile systems are manufactured, while the attack in Smolensk (west) was directed against an aeronautical factory.

The Russian Ministry of Defense today reported the downing last night of five Ukrainian fixed-wing drones over the Smolensk and Tula regions.

Four of the unmanned devices were shot down in the Smolensk region, adjacent to Belarus, according to a statement from the ministry published on Telegram, while the fifth drone was intercepted in Tula.

Simultaneously, a fire broke out in the terminal. Ust-Lugawhich according to Novatek – the largest Russian exporter of liquefied gas – was due to an “external factor”.

Extinguishing the fire caused by a Ukrainian drone attack on the Klintsevskaya oil depot in the Russian Bryansk region.  EFE/EPA/Russian Emergencies Ministry
Extinguishing the fire caused by a Ukrainian drone attack on the Klintsevskaya oil depot in the Russian Bryansk region. EFE/EPA/RUSSIAN EMERGENCIES MINISTRY HAN/

This week, Ukrainian forces claimed responsibility for two attacks on oil depots in Russian territory, one in the Leningrad region, in the northwest – where Ust-Luga is located -, and another that caused a violent fire in the Bryansk region, in the border with Ukraine.

The Kremlin is trying hard to show that the conflict with Ukraine does not affect the lives of Russians, on the eve of the presidential elections in March, but kyiv is multiplying drone and missile attacks on its territory.

Earlier on Sunday, local authorities tried to reassure the population despite the magnitude of the fire and the enormous smoke shown in videos on social networks.

“There were no casualties (…). The staff were evacuated,” Aleksandr Drozdenko, governor of Leningrad, posted on Telegram.

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations and local firefighters were involved in fighting the fire, he added.

For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported on Sunday “thwarted” Ukrainian attacks during the night, without mentioning any incidents in the Leningrad region for the moment.

(with information from EFE and AFP)