Russian Thermal Power Plant On Fire After Reported Cross-Border Missile Attack

(Planet Today) Belgorod, a Russian city which lies just north of the Ukrainian border not far from Kharkiv, has reportedly come under repeat fire from Ukraine forces in the last 24 hours. "The governor of a Russian border region accused Ukraine of shelling an apartment block there on Thursday but a Kyiv official said a stray Russian missile was to blame, in only one of a series of apparent strikes on Russian border towns," Reuters reported Thursday, citing that "a school had been damaged in a village close to the border, and that the top floor of an apartment block had been struck in the city of Belgorod."

While this is not the first instance of Ukrainian cross-border strikes (Kiev's denial of responsibility notwithstanding), on Friday things have escalated with a reported nighttime missile strike on Belgorod's thermal power plant, with further reports that it has plunged much of the city into darkness.

Unconfirmed images of a key energy facility in the Belgorod, Russia on fire after reported missile strike.
Unconfirmed images of a key energy facility in the Belgorod, Russia on fire after reported missile strike.

If this is indeed the result of a confirmed Ukrainian missile strike, it will mark a massive escalation amid the past week of multiple serious escalations, including the Kerch Strait bridge attack, given it's a major hit on Russian soil.

Does this marks the start of the Ukrainian side hitting back at Russia's energy infrastructure? Early in the week President Vladimir Putin announced the start of aggressive targeting of Ukraine's energy grid. 

An additional question remains: are Ukraine forces utilizing longer-range missiles transferred from Western allies? If so, this could trigger a huge response from Moscow, despite Putin in an earlier Friday speech signaling he isn't planning further large-scale airstrikes across Ukraine for the time being.

A reported missile strike and moment of impact against the power plant: 

To review of Russia's ramped up attacks Monday through Tuesday on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, The New York Times wrote

Electricity was out across wide swaths of Ukraine on Monday, as President Vladimir V. Putin said that Russia had deliberately targeted Ukraine’s energy system in a series of strikes across the country in response to an attack on a critical bridge linking Russia and Crimea that Mr. Putin blamed on Ukraine.

The flurry of missile strikes rained down on more than 10 cities from Kharkiv to Kyiv, a move that Ukrainian officials said was aimed crippling the nation’s energy system as winter nears. Ukraine’s emergency services said that five regions — Lviv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv and Ternopil — were without power. Internet and heating outages also were reported.

Below: more footage of Belgorod thermal power station on fire after a reported attack...

Ukrainian sources and media are denying that this was the result of a Ukrainian attack, instead claiming that Russia's own 'errant' missiles are to blame.

Many towns and cities across Ukraine have reportedly remained without heat as well following the early in the week Russian strikes, at a moment temperatures have begun dropping ahead of colder, winter months.

Russian Thermal Power Plant On Fire After Reported Cross-Border Missile Attack

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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