A gas explosion in Russia’s Urals unleashed a massive fireball just hours after an explosion at a power plant caused a widespread power outage.
The two incidents are the latest in a series of mysterious fires and explosions that have rocked the country following its bloody invasion of Ukraine.
First, flames broke out at the Gysinoozerskaya hydroelectric power station for an unknown reason.
The fire sent a huge plume of black smoke into the air and caused a power outage across much of Siberia.
Then, three hours later, a truck loaded with gasoline exploded at a gas station in Talitsa in the Sverdlovsk region, about 2,300 miles away.
Videos captured the moment of the devastating fireball, which burned several people.
Maria, a resident of Talitsa, said: “I was in the city center at work. Suddenly we were all shaking.
“I thought the wall had collapsed or something had collapsed.”
The incident is under investigation, the cause is currently unknown.
A series of fires at strategic facilities has led to suspicions of sabotage attacks by people angry at President Putin’s failed invasion of Ukraine.
Last week a huge fire raged in the world’s second largest natural gas field in Urengoy, just 3,500 km east of Moscow.
In April, a mysterious fire at a Russian defense research center killed seven people.
Faulty electrical wiring has been cited as a possible cause, but some have speculated that sabotage was involved.
The institute building focused on research into Russian air and space defense and the development of new anti-aircraft systems.
That same month, a Russian oil depot went up in flames after claims of cross-border attacks by Ukrainian forces.
And earlier this month, around 125 people were rescued from a burning building in Moscow.
People climbed to the roof of the 10-story Grand Setun Plaza in the Kuntsevo District, about nine miles west of the Kremlin, to escape the inferno.
Accidental fires are common in Russia, where hundreds of fires are registered each year due to aging and poor infrastructure and failure to meet lax safety standards.
But in the last year, some of the country’s more mysterious fires have been directly linked to the war in Ukraine.
A military recruiting office in the city of Nizhnevartovsk was attacked with Molotov cocktails amid riots in May.
Protesters could be seen approaching the building and hurling their ammunition at the doors and windows before fleeing the scene.
The Kremlin has yet to provide a glimpse of the blast tip.
But former member of the Russian Duma and anti-Putin activist Ilya Ponomarev launched a Telegram channel to inform the audience about these actions.
He said: “It happens everywhere and therefore nobody can say that it is the work of Ukrainian intelligence or Ukrainian saboteurs.
“Ukrainians could do some acts of sabotage near the border, but they don’t do it in Vladivostok – obviously it was Russians who did it.”
It has been 120 days since Putin ordered troops to invade its southern neighbor, throwing Russia into economic turmoil, displacing millions and razing vast swathes of Ukraine.
Moscow remains focused on the east after being forced to withdraw from the capital Kyiv after fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces.
As fighting intensifies, two British nationals face execution by Russia after being captured and sentenced to death while fighting alongside the Ukrainian army.
Aiden Aslin, 28, of Newark, and Shaun Pinner, 48, of Bedfordshire, have been treated as foreign “mercenaries” by authorities in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Britain and their families argue that they were legitimate members of the Ukrainian army who should be treated accordingly as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
The two men, who lived in Ukraine before the invasion, are appealing their death sentences.
But Mr Aslin’s family told the BBC they called him and said he had been warned “time is running out”.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/06/23/russia-two-more-mystery-explosions-send-fireballs-into-the-sky-16880852/ Russia: Two more mysterious explosions send fireballs into the sky