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An oil depot in Russia near the border with Ukraine caught fire early on Monday, and another site, a military one, was also on fire, Russian authorities and media report.
Authorities in Russia said they would investigate the cause of the fire at the oil storage site in the city of Bryansk, which is 154 kilometers (96 miles) northeast of the border with Ukraine.
Footage shared on social media showed a fire at a huge oil storage tank. The oil storage facility is owned by Russia’s pipeline company Transneft.
According to Reuters, there has not been an initial indication that the fires—or what some unverified social media posts say were explosions—were related to Ukraine.
Scott Rose, Editor for Bloomberg, tweeted that Russian state TV had reported explosions in Bryansk, saying that the first was at a civilian facility holding around 10,000 tons of fuel, while the second fire occurred 10 to 15 minutes later at a military depot with around 5,000 tons of fuel. There has been no word on either the cause of the fires or casualties, Bloomberg’s Rose said.
The regional branch of Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies told state-run Russian news agencies that there were no casualties in the fires and there were no plans to evacuate residents, The Moscow Times reports.
According to Steve Rosenberg, Russia Editor for BBC News, Russia 24 state TV channel reported on the fire this morning without speculating on the cause. Local state TV GTRK Bryansk reports that another fuel tank is on fire “at a military unit.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine and met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy early on Monday in the highest-level visit to Kyiv by U.S. officials since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.
“Russia is failing, Ukraine is succeeding,” Secretary Blinken said after the visit.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com