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Though all eyes have been on the Polish border blast and the resulting back-and-forth on who was responsible, a separate major attack unfolded in southern Russia near the Ukraine border on Wednesday.
Russian authorities described a suspected drone attack after a fuel depot exploded. It took place in Oryol oblast about 125 miles from the Ukrainian border. "Today [Wednesday] at 04:00 [01:00 GMT] a suspected drone blew up a fuel depot in the village of Stalnoi Kon. There were no casualties," the Oryol regional governor said in a statement.
If confirmed that it was a Ukrainian drone attack, it marks a significant escalation, given the distance of the facility from the border.
The AFP/Moscow Times observes, "Most of the attacks occurred against targets only tens of kilometers from the border, which makes Wednesday's incident stand out for taking place deeper into Russian territory."
It's likely Ukrainian retaliation for the ongoing devastating Russian airstrikes seeking to degrade and disable Ukraine's energy infrastructure at a moment frigid winter temperatures approach. Starting last Spring, and in the months that followed, Ukraine's military launched a series of attacks on Russia's next-door Belgorod region.
On Tuesday, Kyiv reported many dozens of Russian strikes across the country which hit as far West as Lviv. Zelensky's office cited that the national energy was "critical" after the sustained attacks.
As The Guardian described, "Ukraine’s public broadcaster reported that the strikes targeted Kyiv, Kyiv region, Kharkiv city as well as Poltava, Mykolaiv, Dnipro, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytskiy, Lviv, Volyn, Rivne, Cherkassy, Odesa, Kirovohrad, and Chernihiv regions."
State energy company Ukrenergo announced emergency shutdowns "for all categories of consumers have been introduced" in the northern and central regions, which were the areas which suffered the most immediate damage from the strikes.
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