Moscow: Fire at Russian Orthodox church beside the Kremlin
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Video footage has emerged on social media of the Saints Peter and Paul church in Moscow in flames. Plumes of black smoke can be seen billowing in to the sky as the fire continues to burn.
The cause of the fire at the Orthodox church is unknown.
It comes after a spate of mysterious fires across Russia sparked speculation Ukraine is targeting infrastructure in Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has been hit with of a series of suspected incidents of sabotage in Russia over the past few weeks.
More than a dozen blazes in Russia have been reported since the Kremlin launched its illegal invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The number of incidents has been steadily rising over the past few weeks.
Earlier this month, a fire broke out a Russian chemical plant in Berdsk, in Russia’s central Novosibirsk region.
This come after a fire at a railway tanker containing unspecified solvents on the territory of the former chemical weapons factory Kaprolaktam, in Dzerzhinsk.
The first fire was reported on February 26, at the Stavrolen polyolefins plant at Budennovsk in Russia’s Stavropol region.
An explosion and fire injured 15 workers after a blaze broke out in the gas separation section of the ethylene plant in southern Russia.
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A blaze on March 29 saw explosions and fires in the Russian military town of Belgorod, a few miles away from the country’s border with Ukraine.
On April 1 at an oil depot in Belgorod. Vyacheslav Gladkov, head of the region, said at the time: “There was a fire at the oil depot in the town of Belgorod. All emergency services went to the scene. Measures are being taken to eliminate it.”
And two blazes were reported at the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant in the city of Kineshma and at RKK Energia’s Space Defense Centre in Korolyov on April 21.
Another two were reported a couple of days later at a Russian defence research institute in Tver and in a military enlistment office in Mordovia.
Professor Douglas London from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service told the journal Foreign Policy that some recent incidents – including oil deport fires – may have been sabotage linked to the war.
The retired CIA operations officer said: “US and allied enabling of a Ukrainian sabotage campaign inside Russia telegraphs a significant and escalating cost Putin can ill afford.”
Russian forces launched offensives on towns in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday with constant mortar bombardment destroying several houses and killing civilians.
Putin is attempting to seize the separatist-claimed Donbas’ two provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk, and trap Ukrainian forces in a pocket on the main eastern front.
In the easternmost part of the Ukrainian-held Donbas pocket, the city of Sievierodonetsk on the east bank of the Siverskiy Donets River and its twin Lysychansk, on the west bank, have become a pivotal battlefield. Russian forces were advancing from three directions to encircle them.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office said Russian forces launched an offensive on Sievierodonetsk early on Wednesday morning and the town was under constant fire from mortars.
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