The Russian military, over the past day, shot down two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters and one Su-25 attack aircraft, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.
“Three aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force were destroyed by air defense systems. Two Ukrainian MiG-29 fighters were shot down in Ulyanivka in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Myrolyubivka in the Kherson region. In addition, a Su-25 aircraft was shot down in Veletenskoye, Kherson region”, RuMoD said.
Meanwhile, Russian air defense systems shot down two drones trying to attack the territory of Crimea, said the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev.
“When trying to approach Sevastopol Bay, air defense forces shot down one drone. The second drone, reported by some media, was shot down over the territory of the Republic of Crimea, ” he wrote on the Telegram channel as reported by Ria.
The governor added that now the city is calm, but all forces and services are on alert. Specialists continue to monitor the situation.
Since July last year, Ukrainian drones have been trying to attack Sevastopol, the main base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, besides other regions in Crimea. The targets of the attacks were the headquarters of the fleet, energy facilities, and military airfields.
Ukrainian Attacks On Russia?
A sanctioned Russian factory known for producing multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) was recently engulfed in fire, with flames billowing from the compound.
The news was first reported by Kommersant, a major Russian newspaper owned by an oligarch, which cited a statement from the ministry.
At roughly 8 p.m. local time on April 29, a fire erupted on the premises of the PJSC Motovilikha Plants factory in the central Russian city of Perm.
The press office of the PJSC Motovilikha Plants also confirmed reports of a fire at the factory’s transformer substation. The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said a team was dispatched to manage the fire, which had apparently spread to an area of 10 square meters.
The ministry added that emergency services quickly managed to control the fire at the factory. Media reports indicate that the fire did not cause any impact on the power supply of the boiler house.
"На территории предприятия произошло возгорание на трансформаторной подстанции. Специалистами МЧС, выехавшими на место, возгорание оперативно локализовано", — сообщают на Мотовилихинский хаводах pic.twitter.com/djYJtYMoPV
— Пермь 36,6. ПРОТИВ ВОЙНЫ (@perm36_6) April 29, 2023
Several photos and videos have been shared on social media platforms, including Twitter. One clip shows the raging fire and a large plume of smoke from a close distance.
Meanwhile, a series of photos and videos posted by the Perm 36.6 independent news project depicts the plume of smoke from a much greater distance.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, also shared a video of the fire on Twitter. It is not yet known what impact the fire will have on the factory’s production capabilities or the broader arms industry in Russia.
PJSC Motovilikha Plants
Kommersant reported that the PJSC Motovilikha Plants is Russia’s sole factory producing Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRSs). These weapons are widely used in modern warfare. They fire multiple missiles over significant distances in quick succession.
The factory is responsible for producing Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, including the Tornado-S and Tornado-G, capable of firing a range of rockets with different warheads and hitting multiple targets simultaneously with ranges of up to 120 kilometers.
Earlier, Russian military expert Yuri Knutov said in an interview that “if we talk about HIMARS, then our Tornado-S systems with a firing range of 120 kilometers and the ability to direct each missile individually have already gone to the front line. They are much more powerful than HIMARS.”
The European Union (EU) previously sanctioned the Russian factory in December last year. The sanctions were enforced in response to the factory supplying weapons to the Russian military during the continuing conflict in Ukraine.
Kommersant further noted that the factory has been undergoing bankruptcy proceedings since 2018. This recent fire at the factory is expected to complicate the company’s financial woes further.
The city of Perm, where the PJSC Motovilikha Plants factory is located, is approximately 1,500 kilometers East of Moscow in central Russia. It is unknown whether Ukrainian forces potentially caused the fire at the facility.
Since the start of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, numerous accidental and allegedly intentional strikes have been reported within Russia’s borders. The Kremlin has blamed Ukraine for these incidents.
The incident followed a series of suspicious events occurring at locations associated with the Russian military, yet no proof indicates that Ukraine is accountable for this particular event.
Nonetheless, this fire is just one of many unexplained incidents in Russia in recent weeks.
Speculations are rife regarding the origins of these fires, with some suggesting covert operations by Ukraine (especially since some fires happened in military production sites), while others suggest they might result from resistance groups within Russia.
It remains to be seen whether the cause of the fire at the Perm factory was related to the conflict in Ukraine or was the result of other factors.
Meanwhile, on May 1, an explosion caused a Russian freight train to be derailed in the western region of Bryansk, bordering Ukraine, according to a social media post by the local governor.
On Telegram, Bryansk governor Alexander Bogomaz said, “An unidentified explosive device went off, as a result of which a locomotive of a freight train derailed.” According to local authorities, the train reportedly transported fuel and building materials.
This incident follows an uptick in railway-related incidents in Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine over a year ago. According to media reports, at least 66 Russians have been arrested on suspicion of railway sabotage since last fall.