Fire, evacuation after Ukraine drone attacks on Russia’s Smolensk, Lipetsk

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 10:07 PM

(Reuters) -Fire broke out at energy facilities in Russia’s Smolensk region after a Ukraine-launched drone attack and people were evacuated from parts of Lipetsk in Russia’s southwest after a drone there fell on an industrial park, regional officials said.

“Our region is again under attack by Ukrainian UAVs,” Vasily Anokhin, the governor of the Smolensk region in Russia’s west, said on the Telegram messaging app.

“As a result of the enemy attack on civilian fuel and energy facilities, fires broke out in the Smolensk and Yartsevo districts,” Anokhin said on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not immediately known what facilities were on fire. There are no large oil refineries in the Smolensk region.

Separately, Igor Artamonov, the governor of the Lipetsk region in Russia’s southwest, said that a drone there fell on an industrial zone. He said on Telegram that there were no injuries, but nearby residents were evacuated as a precaution measure.

“The object was isolated, there was no threat of an attack on residential area,” Artamonov said. “It was decided not to turn on warning systems in the city and to evacuate only the area where the UAV fell.”

He did not say whether there was any damage and what object was targeted.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports.

There was no immediate comment from Ukraine. Kyiv rarely comments on attacks inside Russia, but Ukrainian officials have said that destroying Russia’s critical energy, military and transport infrastructure undermines Moscow’s overall war efforts.

(Reporting by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry)