Kremlin has threatened to walk out of peace talks after accusing Ukrainian helicopters of attacking an oil facility inside Russia, Daily Mail reported.
Regional Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said two of Ukraine’s military helicopters flew 25 miles undetected past the Russian border at low altitude to Belgorod where they fired S-8 rockets at a Roseneft depot, causing a huge fireball to break out which firefighters are still tackling.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Of course, this is not something that can be perceived as creating comfortable conditions for the continuation of negotiations.”
But there have been fears that Russia would stage a false flag attack on itself to justify an escalation of the war or to back out of peace talks.
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “I can neither confirm nor reject the claim that Ukraine was involved in this, simply because I do not possess all the military information.”
Gladkov, who was appointed by Vladimir Putin in 2020, said the air strike, which would be the first on Russian soil since WW-II, injured two workers and parts of the city have been evacuated, Daily Mail reported.
Video shared on social media appeared to show the attack happening at 5.43 am local time, followed by helicopters flying away from the blaze, although analysts have noted Russia uses the same type of helicopters as Ukraine.
The Ukraine government is yet to confirm the incident, but if true, it would be the second time Ukraine has ventured past the border since the invasion following the alleged long-range missile attack on Millerovo airbase last month, in the latest humiliation for Putin in his flailing campaign.
But last week, an exiled Russian politician claimed that Kremlin is plotting a wave of attacks on its own cities in a false flag operation led by the FSB that it will blame on Ukraine to justify a general mobilisation of troops.