Status: 28.11.2023, 16:39 PM
By: Marius Gogolla
On Monday night, there was a fire in a Russian tank factory in Chelyabinsk; a large fireball rose above the factory grounds. The background is still unclear.
Chelyabinsk/Smolensk – An explosion occurred late Sunday evening (November 26) at a Russian tank factory in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, resulting in a massive fireball. According to Russian authorities, the incident was due to a fire at a transformer caused by a short circuit.
On the same day, in the morning in the Russian city of Smolensk, there was a drone attack on an aircraft factory. Ukrainian authorities confirmed to the Ukrainian weekly Kyiv Post that this was a targeted action.
Explosion at Russian tank factory: video shows fireball over the site
A video shows a large fireball rising over the site of the tank factory in Chelyabinsk. Residents reportedly heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out, according to a Russian Telegram channel, reports the British daily The Telegraph.
What was damaged in the explosion and why the fire broke out is still unclear, according to the US news magazine Newsweek. According to the Russian Emergencies Ministry, the fire was brought under control on Monday morning.
Meanwhile, residents reported interruptions in the electricity and water supply in buildings around the tank factory.
Chelyabinsk factory produces Russia's modern tanks for Ukraine war
Among other things, the tank factory in Chelyabinsk produces the T-90 tank model - it is considered one of the best tanks in Russia and is used in the Ukraine war. The "BMPT Terminator" is also produced at the factory, a heavily armored combat support vehicle touted by Russian state media as indestructible.
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The factory is owned by the Russian arms company Uralvagonzavod and is located east of the Ural Mountains near the border with Kazakhstan. Previously, tractors were built at the factory, today it is considered one of the main production facilities for Russian tanks.
Russian T-90M tank during an exercise in Russia. © IMAGO/Stanislav Krasilnikov
Ukraine confirms drone strikes on aircraft factory in Smolensk
While Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on the fire at the Russian tank factory in Chelyabinsk, Ukrainian intelligence confirmed a drone attack on an aircraft factory in Smolensk on Sunday. A spokesman for Ukraine's Defense Ministry told the Kyiv Post: "The targets have been hit; this was an operation of the Military Intelligence Service of Ukraine."
Russia said of the attack that all drones had been shot down. However, according to Kyiv Post, videos on social networks show how one of the downed drones crashed onto the roof of the aircraft factory and exploded. The roof is said to have been damaged. In the Ukraine war, drones are increasingly being used by both Russia and Ukraine.
According to a report by the Ukrainian online magazine Defense Express, there is no connection between the incidents in Chelyabinsk and Smolensk. (mag)