Fire has ripped through a Russian tank training ground after explosions in the city of Kazan, 450 miles east of Moscow, local media outlets have reported. Analysts suggest the incident provides further evidence that 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.
Blasts were heard in the southern area of the city, which is home to more than one million people and is the country’s fifth-largest metropolis.
Details are scarce, with Russian officials refusing to speculate about the cause of the fire, and not revealing whether anybody had been killed, while emergency services claimed they had not been informed of the incident.
Warsaw-based independent Belarusian outlet Nexta tweeted a clip of smoke billowing into the air, commenting: “Residents of #Kazan are reporting a powerful explosion near the tank range.
“Local authorities deny everything as usual.”
The footage has not been verified by Express.co.uk.
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.
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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.
“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.
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“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.”
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