Videos circulating on social media on Thursday show a big blaze and black plumes of smoke engulfing a building in the western city of Kursk.
The scale of the fire, confirmed by Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations, was at 400 square metres by 2pm local time.
National media first reported the building in flames was residential, but the ministry said the reports were false and that the premises were non-residential.
According to Kursk-based news outlets, emergency services were called to the scene after the incident was reported at 1.15pm local time.
Some 20 firefighters and four vehicles were working to extinguish the blaze, which could be seen from most parts of the city.
Ukrainian news outlet TSN said an area of dry grass also caught fire near the unknown premises.
Kursk residents did not report hearing the sound of explosions, and the cause of the blaze is not known yet.
It isn’t clear whether there were any casualties.
The incident follows large fires on April 25 at two oil depots in the Russian city of Bryansk, less than 100 miles from the border with Ukraine, with footage posted on Russian social media showing columns of smoke rising from the facilities.
Without explicitly taking the blame, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said: “If you (Russians) decide to massively attack another country, massively kill everyone there, massively crush peaceful people with tanks, and use warehouses in your regions to enable the killings, then sooner or later the debts will have to be repaid.”
Earlier in April, Russia accused Ukraine of attacking a fuel depot in Belgorod with helicopters, which a top Kyiv security official denied, and opening fire on several villages in the province.
The incidents, though their origins are unconfirmed, hint at Russian vulnerabilities in areas close to its invaded neighbour that are crucial to its military logistics chains.
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