A HUGE “missile” explosion has rocked a Russian city and left 15 injured as Putin reels from Ukraine’s counter-attack.
The blast in Taganrog, near the Ukraine border, came as reports claimed a “sabotage bomb hit an oil plant” in another part of Russia.
Russia’s ministry of defence has released a statement blaming Ukraine for the explosion.
The statement reads: “The Kyiv regime carried out a terrorist attack with an anti-aircraft missile of the S-200 air defence system converted into a strike version on the residential infrastructure of the city of Taganrog, Rostov Region.
“Russian air defense systems detected a Ukrainian missile and intercepted it in the air.”
It continues: “Fragments of a downed Ukrainian missile fell on the territory of Taganrog.
“As a result of the terrorist attack committed by the Kyiv regime, several buildings were damaged, and there were also victims among civilians.”
It also notes that the rocket itself was detected and intercepted in the air, and its fragments fell into the city.
The explosion injured 15 people, said the governor of the Rostov region Vasily Golubev.
He also said that the epicenter of the explosion fell on the territory of the art museum.
“The wall of the museum, the roof, garages and outbuildings were destroyed. The frames in the windows and balconies of the neighboring three-story apartment building were knocked out,” he said.
The head of the region also announced the hospitalisation of nine people.
“Nine people were delivered to medical facilities, whose condition is assessed by doctors as moderate and mild. 60 rescuers and 17 pieces of equipment are working at the site of the explosion,” Golubev emphasised.
One witness said: “We heard one clap, but strong, very strong. Glasses in nearby cafes flew out.”
Another said: “This is the site where something either struck from the air, or we don’t know.
“A huge crater, and everything around is destroyed, terrible, everything is destroyed, a car is under the rubble.
“Something awful happened.”
Taganrog is a port city on the Black Sea, around 30 miles from Rostov-on-Don, one of Russia’s biggest cities.
A second explosion occurred on the territory of the Kuibyshev oil refinery in Samara, State Duma deputy Alexander Khinshtein said on his Telegram channel.
There were no casualties or serious damage, he said.
The Kuibyshev Oil Refinery is one of the largest oil enterprises in the Samara Region, operating since 1945.
It comes after Ukraine smashed through Russian frontlines in a huge tank assault as President Zelensky said his “guys had very good results”.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin admitted fighting had intensified significantly.
Terrified Russian officials in occupied Zaporizhzhia in the south claimed thousands of Ukrainian troops had launched a lightning push on Wednesday with 100 German Leopard tanks and US Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Moscow insisted its troops had repelled the assaults.
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