HomeWorldSuspected drone strike blows up oil depot near Putin’s Sochi palace
Suspected drone strike blows up oil depot near Putin’s Sochi palace
September 20, 2023
A suspected drone strike sent an oil depot up in flames in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi early Wednesday — just miles from one of President Vladimir Putin’s palaces.
Footage circulating on social media showed huge flames and plumes of smoke billowing from a fuel tank — which had the name of one of Russia’s main oil companies, Rosneft, on it — in the early hours as fire crews worked to douse the blaze.
The fire broke out near Sochi International Airport, which is close to the popular beach and mountain resort where the 2014 Winter Olympics were held and where Putin’s sprawling summer residence is located.
Authorities didn’t immediately provide a cause for the huge fire, saying it was still under investigation.
But the Telegram channel Baza, which is known to be close to Russian security services, claimed the blaze was the result of a drone strike.
“In the Adler district of Sochi, a diesel fuel tank caught fire early in the morning,” the governor of Russia’s southern Krasnodar region, Veniamin Kondratyev, wrote on Telegram.
“There are no victims,” he continued. “The reasons for the incident are being clarified.”
The mayor of Sochi, Alexei Kopaygorodskiy, confirmed later Wednesday that the blaze had been extinguished, adding it took 15 emergency vehicles and 60 workers.
“The airport and the entire transport system are operating as normal,” he said on Telegram.
Since Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine last year, numerous Russian cities have been targeted by drone strikes that the Kremlin has blamed on Kyiv.
Ukrainian officials haven’t commented on the latest suspected drone strike.