Russia under attack – multiple drone attacks inside Russia, including massive oil fire near Crimean Bridge

3 May, 02:00 PM
Smoke from a fire at an oil depot near the Taman port, view from the side of the Crimean bridge across the Kerch Strait (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

Smoke from a fire at an oil depot near the Taman port, view from the side of the Crimean bridge across the Kerch Strait (Photo:REUTERS/Stringer)

Multiple explosions were reported in at least three Russian oblasts on May 3, raising the question of whether Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive had begun.

A massive 1,200 square meter (around 13,000 square feet) fire erupted at a Russian fuel storage facility near the Port of Taman, with flames and smoke towering over what is believed to be large fuel tanks, according to photos published by Reuters on May 3.

Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
Photo: REUTERS/Stringer

Resting near the village of Volna about 15 km from the Crimean Bridge, Russia uses the Port of Taman as a military logistics hub for southern Ukraine.

Video of day

Locals reported explosions at around 2.00 a.m. The engulfed fuel tank contains 20,000 cubic meters of fuel, said Russia’s REN TV.

"The fire has been classified as the highest rank of difficulty," Krasnodar Krai Governor Veniamin Kondratyev wrote on Telegram, adding that there are no victims and no danger to the public.

The smoke is visible even from the other side of the Kerch Strait – from the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

While authorities have yet to comment on the cause of the fire, Russian outlets said it was a drone attack orchestrated by Ukraine.

Russian independent news Telegram channel Baza reported about explosions allegedly from a drone attack before the fire occurred and published videos from the scene.

The Taman Peninsula and the village of Volna on the map:

UPDATE: Efforts to extinguish the fire are ongoing as of 10.00 a.m. and involve five fire engines and 188 people, Kondratiev reported, publishing new videos from the fire scene.

Many other spectacular videos of the flames and billowing smoke have appeared on social media.

The oil depot was not the only site in Russia targeted by drones in the early hours of May 3.

Around five drones attacked the Bryansk military airfield, reported Baza. Two were allegedly shot down with small arms, while another two exploded at the airfield, the message reads.

"One more drone wasn't found," Baza said.

An An-124, which was not in operation, sustained "minor damage" and no one was allegedly affected in the attack, Baza said.

Another fire occurred at Gostilitsy airfield in Russia's Leningrad Oblast in the morning of May 3, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.

A 15 square meter tire fire was extinguished and caused no injuries, the propaganda outlet claimed.

The fire was reported around 7.00 a.m. and caused the evacuation of two helicopters, reported the Leningrad Oblast office of the Russian Emergencies Ministry. They allege that no equipment was damaged.

Gostilitsy Airfield is a small airport in Leningradskaya Oblast about 60 km (37 miles) away Saint Petersburg.

Earlier, an explosion on a train in Bryansk Oblast caused the derailment of up to 20 cars. It was the second train explosion in Bryansk Oblast in the past two days.

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