Russian city on Ukrainian border in flames as explosion hits power plant sparking blackout

A thermal power plant caught fire in Belgorod, Russia, causing an electricity blackout on Monday. Russian propaganda reported the explosion was the result of a drone strike, but this could not be independently confirmed.

The real causes remain unknown at this time. Two separate fires were reported in the region.

A report published earlier this month has suggested saboteurs have started hundreds of blazes in the country since the start of 2023.

The country’s military facilities are increasingly being sabotaged by operatives working directly or indirectly for Ukraine, as outlined in a report published earlier this month.

In October, authorities in Kazan claimed some troops ordered to fight in Ukraine had instead been sent to Kazan after Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilisation.

Another fire last month damaged a factory which makes Topol-M nuclear missile launchers, for the Russian military.

Seven people were rescued from the building, local authorities said.

A report published earlier this month by open source intelligence (OSINT) agency Molfar suggested major fires are increasingly common in Russia, with 212 in the first three months of 2023 compared with 414 for the whole of 2022.

Molfar’s report claimed: “Information about fires at military plants and energy facilities is no longer published in the Russian media.

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“Either the Russian media publish only a part of the cases, present information in an edited form, or downplay the scale of the destruction.

“However, the Molfar team received data directly from a competent person with the necessary access.

“Thus, in this research, we were additionally able to use closed statistics from the state register of the Russian Federation’s emergencies.

“We advise Russians to take a close look at their neighbours, as some of them are already working for Ukraine’s victory.”

Referring to previous research, the report added: “Last time, we put forward two hypotheses to explain the increase in the number of fires in the Russian Federation.

“The first was related to Ukrainian intelligence, the second to the Russian resistance movement.

“As is always the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle.”