Thick black smoke fills the sky as Russian oil refinery goes up in flames


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An oil refinery in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod has gone up in flames as video footage shows black smoke billowing from the facility. Reports indicate the fire ha s taken place at a plant belonging to Lukoil – a Russian multinational energy corporation.

Eastern European news agency, Nexta, has also shared video footage of the fire which has reportedly erupted in the town of Kstovo.

RIA Novosti, a Kremlin aligned state media outlet, quoted a source from a local authority that said: “Early reports suggest that a fire broke out at an oil refinery at 9 Tsentralnoe Shosse in the Kstovo district today, on 7 February. The details of the incident are being investigated.”

A similar incident was reported just two months ago.

In December, footage emerged of an explosion at a Russian gas and oil field in the Siberian Irkutsk region.

It was reported that more than 1,000 square metres caught fire, with the flames spreading to jet fuel stored nearby.

Just days after this, a similar blast occurred at an oil facility in Angarsk, also in the Irkutsk region.

The latest blast comes as fighting between Russia and Ukraine looks set to intensify in the coming months.

Reports in recent weeks have warned that Moscow is planning a new offensive in Ukraine, looking to gain back territory lost in 2022.

A Ukrainian governor has warned that Russia is pouring more men into the east of Ukraine, where fighting continues over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Serhiy Haidai, the Ukrainian governor of Luhansk, said: “We are seeing more and more [Russian] reserves being deployed in our direction, we are seeing more equipment being brought in.

“They bring ammunition that is used differently than before – it is not round-the-clock shelling anymore. They are slowly starting to save, getting ready for a full-scale offensive.

“It will most likely take them 10 days to gather reserves. After Feb. 15 we can expect [this offensive] at any time.”

High-profile figures in Moscow are also keeping up the hostile rhetoric.

Former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that all of Ukraine “will burn”.

He was responding to the West’s military support in Ukraine.

Medvedev said: “There will be no negotiations in this case, only retaliatory strikes. The whole of Ukraine remaining under Kyiv’s rule will burn.

“Our response may be anything. The president of Russia made this quite clear. We do not set ourselves any limits and, depending on the nature of the threats, we are ready to use all types of weapons. In accordance with our doctrinal documents, including the Fundamentals of State Policy on Nuclear Deterrence.”

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