Vladimir Putin has woken up from a night of hell after a kamikaze drone that struck a major oil depot came dangerously close to two of his palaces on the Black Sea.
Footage shows giant flames engulfing the Rosneft oil facility RN-Marine Terminal in the town of Tuapse in Krasnodar region.
The midnight strike was the fourth on an energy infrastructure facilities Russia in six days.
The depot is closer to Putin’s £1 billion clifftop palace at Gelendzhik, which boasts an underground bunker, pole-dancing boudoir, and vineyard.
It is 45 miles away from the scene of the destruction. Both palaces are believed to be guarded by modern air defence systems.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, but unofficial Telegram channels put the blame on Ukraine.
If confirmed, the attack would highlight a new trend in the war, as Ukraine uses its kamikaze drones to strike inside Russia while it waits for new arms supplies from the West.
Air defences were heard in Tuapse before the explosion at the oil refinery owned by Rosneft, Russia’s second largest state-controlled company and the biggest oil producer.
Flames spread to more than 2,150 square feet across the refinery, which contains 100 tons of petrol and 200 tons of oil.
‘The vacuum unit was on fire. According to preliminary information, there were neither casualties nor injured,’ Sergei Boiko, the head of Tuapse district, said on Telegram.
The plant’s annual capacity is 12 million metric tons (240,000 barrels per day).
It supplies fuel to Turkey, China, Malaysia and Singapore among other countries that still trade with Russia.
The plant produces naphtha, fuel oil, vacuum gasoil and high-sulphur diesel.
The international airport in Sochi – frequently used by the president – was closed due to fears it was also under siege.
Meanwhile, Russia launched 14 drones and five missiles at Ukraine overnight, the air force said on Thursday, with defence systems destroying 11 of the drones.
A video from the southern port city of Odesa shows a high-rise engulfed in flames as emergency services worked to rescue people trapped inside.
Regional governor Oleh Kiper said on Telegram that two people were injured in the attack.
‘Despite the effective and fruitful work of air defence to repel enemy attacks, unfortunately, an industrial facility was hit in Odesa, and residential buildings and civilian infrastructure were damaged,’ Kiper said. (Metro)