‘Ukraine drone’ strike hits oil refinery just 80 miles from Putin’s palace


Russia has suffered a major explosion at an oil refinery in a suspected drone or sabotage attack, just 80 miles from Vladimir Putin‘s Black Sea palace.

The blast came as yet another Russian general was killed in Moscow’s on-going war against Ukraine, this time in a missile strike.

The double blow for Putin came as Ukraine stepped up its counteroffensive, with Kyiv’s forces claiming they have liberated at least four front-line villages – amid reports that Russian troops are being killed fleeing through their own minefields.

Meanwhile, Russia launched a ‘massive missile’ attack overnight on the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, killing at least ten people and damaging civilian infrastructure, Ukrainian officials said early on Tuesday.

Video emerged this morning of the oil refinery in Krasnodar, showing flames and thick noxious black smoke pouring from the facility after the attack.

Russia has suffered a major explosion at an oil refinery in a suspected drone or sabotage attack, just 80 miles from Vladimir Putin's Black Sea palace

Russia has suffered a major explosion at an oil refinery in a suspected drone or sabotage attack, just 80 miles from Vladimir Putin's Black Sea palace

Russia has suffered a major explosion at an oil refinery in a suspected drone or sabotage attack, just 80 miles from Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea palace

The blast came as yet another Russian general was killed in Moscow's on-going war against Ukraine, this time in a missile strike. Major-General Sergey Goryachev (pictured), 52, died in a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia region - adding to Putin's war woes

The blast came as yet another Russian general was killed in Moscow’s on-going war against Ukraine, this time in a missile strike. Major-General Sergey Goryachev (pictured), 52, died in a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia region – adding to Putin’s war woes

Krasnodar city is capital of a region of the same name which is linked to annexed Crimea across the Kerch Strait.

Putin’s £1 billion clifftop palace and Gelendzhik – with an underground bunker, pole-dancing boudoir, and vineyard – is less than 80 miles away from the blast.

The city is a key link in Putin’s war effort and a hub for supplying occupied Crimea.

The blaze was at Krasnodar Oil Refinery, in a diesel processing facility, said local Kuban News. More than 130 firefighters were called to the scene.

Attacks inside Russia’s borders have become more frequent in recent months. It is believed that Ukraine, or pro-Ukrainian groups, are using drones to strike key infrastructure such as oil refineries or military bases.

There was no initial claim of responsibility for the Krasnodar attack. The city is around 200 miles away from the front lines in Ukraine.

Krasnodar region also suffered a radio hack this week from anti-Putin partisan group Freedom of Russia Legion.

The message threatened to destroy Putin’s ‘war criminals’ in Crimea but would not pose a threat to the civilian population.

The attack came as Major-General Sergey Goryachev, 52, died in a missile attack in Zaporizhzhia region – adding to Putin’s war woes.

He was Chief of Staff of the Russian 35th Combined Arms Army, and is one of at least 11 generals reported to have died in the war – the first this year.

His death was revealed after Putin had awarded medals to wounded soldiers in a Moscow hospital, accompanied by Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Putin's £1 billion clifftop palace and Gelendzhik (pictured) - with an underground bunker, pole-dancing boudoir, and vineyard - is less than 80 miles away from the blast at the oil refinery

Putin’s £1 billion clifftop palace and Gelendzhik (pictured) – with an underground bunker, pole-dancing boudoir, and vineyard – is less than 80 miles away from the blast at the oil refinery

In personally presenting their medals, he acknowledged the heavy toll Russia has suffered in the war.

Earlier the Russian leader had been at a Champagne reception in the Kremlin at a state honours ceremony.

The death of the general was revealed by pro-war military channels who admitted that Russian forces were under pressure due to Ukraine’s counter offensive.

The Russian Defence Ministry has not commented, as is normal with high-ranking deaths among its forces.

‘War takes the best,’ reported war correspondent Yuri Kotenok. 

‘As a result of an enemy missile attack, Major General Sergey Goryachev, Chief of Staff of the 35th Combined Arms Army, was killed,’ Kotenok said.

‘The army today lost one of the brightest and most effective military leaders, who combined the highest professionalism with personal courage. Combat friends express their condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.’

Gorbachev had been promoted to general during the war.

Kotenok said Russian forces were facing ‘heavy fighting’ on ‘almost along the entire line of military contact’. He admitted: ‘The situation is difficult in the defence zone of the 60th and 37th motorised rifle brigades.’

News of Goryachev’s death came as Russia launched a ‘massive’ missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih overnight.

Pictured: Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

Pictured: Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

Ten people were killed and more were wounded in a Russian missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih early Tuesday, the regional governor said, as air attacks were reported in Kyiv and other cities.

‘A five-storey building got destroyed. According to initial reports, three of its residents died. 25 people were injured,’ Serhiy Lysak, governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, said on Telegram. ‘There are still people under the rubble.’

Kryvyi Rih mayor Oleksandr Vilkul said that said that one person is still believed to be trapped under the rubble and 28 others were wounded.

The devastation in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s home town is the latest bloodshed in Russia’s war in Ukraine, now in its 16th month.

Pictures from the scene showed emergency crews working at the bunt-out building, a sight that has become all-too common in the 15-months of war. 

Survivors were seen wrapping in blankets, looking on in disbelief. 

Seven other people were wounded in strikes on two other locations, he added.

Lysak said three cruise missiles were shot down but others got through.

The Ukrainian capital and the northeast city of Kharkiv also came under missile and drone attack.

‘According to initial reports, the enemy used Kh-101/555 cruise missiles,’ Kyiv city military administration said.

‘All enemy targets in the airspace around Kyiv were detected and successfully destroyed by the forces and means of air defence,’ it said, adding there was no immediate information on any casualties or damage.

In Kharkiv, civilian infrastructure was hit in a drone attack, said the city’s mayor Ihor Terekhov.

Pictured: People react at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

Pictured: People react at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

Pictured: Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

Pictured: Rescuers work at a site of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile strike, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine June 13

‘According to initial reports, a utility company in the Kyivskyi district, as well as a warehouse in Saltivskyi district got damaged. A fire broke out as a result of the explosion on the latter,’ he said.

Air alerts were also sounded in the Dnipropetrovsk oblast and the neighbouring Donetsk and Poltava regions.

The fresh wave of air attacks came after Ukraine claimed to have retaken several villages and made advances in its counter-offensive against Russian forces.

‘The fighting is tough, but we are moving forward, this is very important,’ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday in his daily evening address.      



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