Ukrainian shelling hits oil depot in Donetsk region – officials
Four oil reservoir tanks are ablaze after Ukrainian forces allegedly shelled the city of Makeyevka in the Donetsk Republic, local authorities reported on Wednesday.
According to the territorial defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), one person was killed in the attack and two more injured. However, in a short statement posted on Telegram on Wednesday, local authorities described this information as “preliminary.” Russia’s Tass news outlet, citing the Makeyevka city council, reported that as many as ten people were wounded in the incident.
The territorial defense forces also revealed that each tank could contain up to 5,000 cubic meters of oil. Footage and photos released by the authorities show a column of thick black smoke rising from the burning oil depot. The defense forces advised residents of Donetsk and Makeevka to close their windows and stay indoors.
Ukraine’s Unian news outlet has also reported the blaze, citing DPR authorities and videos being shared on local Telegram channels. According to the report, the oil depot was providing Russian forces with fuel.
On top of that, Unian mentioned an additional fire in Donetsk, reportedly at a warehouse.
The Ukrainian government has not issued any official comment on the attack so far.
In a separate shelling in Donetsk, seven civilians were injured on Wednesday, according to the territorial defense forces. DPR officials have accused Ukrainian forces of conducting the attack. Accompanying the message by the defense forces is a short video clip featuring an empty bus standing on the roadside with shattered windows, multiple holes, and what appears to be blood stains on its side. It is not clear, though, whether the mentioned injured civilians had been inside the vehicle at the time of the attack.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.