According to the authorities, at least one person died in a fire in a building of the Russian border guard in the border region with Ukraine. Two other people were injured in the fire on Thursday in the city of Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia. Kyiv denied any responsibility, but said the Ukrainian authorities were following the developments "with pleasure". Photos and videos of a large fire and a huge plume of smoke in the sky were shared on social networks. A loud bang was heard. The Civil Protection Ministry extinguished the fire. Governor Vasily Golubev said that according to preliminary information, the fire started due to a short circuit in power lines. The fire also caused flammable liquids to explode.
Two walls of the building collapsed, Golubev said. The fire "triggered the explosion of fuel and lubricant tanks" and spread to more than 800 square meters. Some nearby buildings in the city were evacuated as a precautionary measure, Golubev said. Eyewitnesses had previously reported the sound of the explosion. The fire at the FSB was also widely reported in the Ukrainian media. The FSB is also responsible for border security in Russia. In the region near Ukraine there have recently been repeated incidents with rockets and drones. According to its own statements, the FSB in Russia repeatedly uncovered acts of sabotage against infrastructure objects in the course of Moscow's war of aggression against Ukraine. According to official information, the task of border guards is also to prevent suspected sabotage groups from entering the region illegally.
Since the Kremlin sent troops to Ukraine in February last year, several alleged acts of sabotage have been attributed to Ukrainian militants on Russian territory. High-ranking Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak said on Twitter that Ukraine had nothing to do with the fire: "Ukraine is not involved, but is happy to watch." In the Belgorod region, which is also close to the border, the authorities reported again on Thursday that the Russian air defense system had shot down two missiles. As on the previous day, when there was talk of three rockets fired, residential buildings and this time administrative buildings in the city of Belgorod were again hit and damaged by fallen fragments of rockets. There are no injuries, said Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. He accused the Ukrainian troops of increased activity. In the past four days, 58 buildings and 31 cars have been hit by debris.