KYIV: Ukraine said it was behind a drone strike that sparked a huge inferno at an oil depot in western Russia on Friday (Jan 19), the latest in a series of escalating cross-border attacks.

The strike is the second on a Russian oil depot in as many days, part of what Kyiv has called “fair” retaliation for Moscow’s strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

Friday’s strike targeted a Rosneft oil storage facility about 50km from the Ukrainian border, in the Russian town of Klintsy, officials said.

It was carried out by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, a Ukrainian security source confirmed to AFP, without elaborating.

Videos showed a huge fireball tearing through the oil depot’s storage tanks, while a cloud of black smoke billowed over the town of some 60,000 inhabitants.

“Four oil tanks are burning in Klintsy,” regional governor Alexander Bogomaz said.

“For safety reasons 32 residents of the private sector were temporarily evacuated to relatives. A temporary accommodation centre has been prepared,” he added.

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