Ukraine Attacks Fuel Depot Miles Inside of Russia–or Did It? – Opinion

Helicopters attacked and set fire to a large fuel depot in Belgorod on Friday morning. Russia is not pleased.

Dmitry Peskov (Kremlin spokesperson) stated that Vladimir Putin was aware of the situation. He said it was “certainly” an escalation, adding: “This is not something that can be perceived as creating conditions comfortable for the continuation of negotiations.”

The attack was not confirmed or denied by Ukrainian officials. It could have been caused either by a Russian mistake, or possibly Russian pilots refusing entry to Ukraine. According to these officials, Moscow ought to investigate the situation on its own soil.

Although it appears that the attack was being carried out by a trolling helicopter, intelligence and military analysts claimed that it was actually a Ukrainian attack. The Mi-24s flew low and launched rockets at the fuel depot, creating a large explosion. They were then seen departing at low altitude. There were no casualties.

The attack, if confirmed, would be a bold and risky move by Ukraine. Its forces will shift from a defensive position to an aggressive airstrike against Russia, at a moment when Russia’s military seems weaker.

There is a lot of stuff going on here that gives a “house of mirrors” effect.

How did it all end?

Russia says it did; Ukraine says it didn’t. In fact, Ukraine is going full metal Alex Jones here, claiming a “false flag” attack.

It is absurd, but there are some threads of plausibility. Russia and Ukraine are currently engaged in talks. The attack by Ukraine on Russian targets could be seen rightly as an act of provocation, at a moment when de-escalation may be justified. Russia may perceive an attack at night with little visibility that could be embarrassing the Ukrainian government, and could gain some advantages. The counterpoint to that is that Russia didn’t spend that much ingenuity making up reasons for its invasion of Ukraine.

Four days ago, a Russian ammunition depot exploded in a similar accident. Both a Ukrainian missile attack and the excellent safety record of Russia’s Army were responsible for the explosion.

Both sides use the same helicopters and munitions, which doesn’t make things any easier.

Look at Belgorod on the other side.

The target was a fuel depot that would be needed to support this newfound “focus on Donbas” that no one had heard of until last week. So emotions are high. The Russian military destroyed cities in Ukraine without considering civilian casualties. However, there are some positive signs that the Ukrainian Army might have the ability to attack Russian cities.

In my view, I don’t see the Ukrainian Defense Ministry as having ordered this attack. Neither do I believe the “false flag” story. Belgorod’s fuel depot is the ideal target in the right spot at the right time. Falling back on Ockham’s Razor, I think we have to give great credence to the notion that Ukraine did carry out the attack but that it was ordered by a local commander.

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