Several videos on social media last night, which will be from Bryansk, show violent explosions and flames. Bryansk is located about 150 kilometers from the border with Ukraine.
Russian authorities confirm that an oil depot in the city caught fire, but say no one was hurt in the accident.
A fire was reported at the Transneft Bryansk-Druzhba oil depot in Bryansk. According to preliminary information, there were no injuries, according to the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The Russian authorities did not say what caused the explosions. Lt. Col. Geir Hagen Carlsen at the Staff School says that on videos from the scene it could look like an attack by Ukrainian forces.
Ukraine has missiles that can reach this goal, and this is quite possible. But it’s a bit too early to confirm or deny, Carlsen tells NRK.
Fire in a military facility
It’s not just a burning oil deposit. Videos from Bryansk show two thick clouds of smoke rising into the sky.
And the other cloud of smoke will come from a military facility that is, among other things, a base for Russian artillery. According to Russian state television, a fuel depot at the base is burning.
Bryansk was an important center in the Russian supply lines for the war in Ukraine.
It’s a legitimate target if it’s an oil depot, and it could have an impact on the Russian mobilization and offensive taking place in eastern Ukraine, says Carlsen.
He also thinks that it is interesting, if it turns out to be a Ukrainian attack, that it is taking place within Russian territory.
– Then it becomes harder and harder for the Russians to claim that this is a special operation and not a war, he said.
Important oil pipeline to Europe
The oil depot in Bryansk is connected to the Druzhba oil pipeline, one of the longest pipelines in the world of its kind.
Drogba means “friendship” in Russian.
This is the main pipeline of Russian oil to Europe. It passes through Belarus and Poland and ends up in Germany. Branch (Drogba 2) passes through Ukraine to Hungary.
It is unclear whether the Bryansk fires will affect the flow of Russian oil to Europe.
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