UKRAINE struck yet another oil refinery in Russia in a kamikaze drone attack as Putin is blitzed ahead of his interview with Tucker Carlson.
Footage shows the Ilsky plant ablaze in Krasnodar region where giant explosions triggered an inferno.
The latest blitz against the Russian despot comes just just moments away from his interview with controversial TV pundit Tucker Carlson.
Separately, eight people including two children were injured after a gas pipeline explosion in Perm region, which destroyed a freight train and a residential block.
And in Moscow the roofs of three six-story buildings near the Airport metro station were ablaze in a mysterious fire engulfing 43,000 square feet, the largest residential fire in the city since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
Ukraine previously attacked the Ilsky plant in May last year which is around 30 miles inland from Vladimir Putin’s £1 billion private clifftop palace in Gelendzhik overlooking the Black Sea.
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The plant is crucial to oil supplies at the port of Novorossiysk which supplies naval and civilian vessels.
The 2am strike bypassed Russian air defences and came as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky ousted his commander in chief General Valerii Zaluzhnyi to replace him with no-nonsense Russian-born commander Alexander Syrsky.
It is the eighth major strike this year by Ukraine on Putin’s oil and gas facilities inside Russia.
Russian gasoline exports plunged by 37% and diesel exports by 23% in January due to the strikes.
Local residents reported on social networks that they heard the sounds of flying drones and explosions, but the version of a UAV attack on the refinery has not been officially confirmed.
Russian air defences claimed to have intercepted and destroyed 19 drones coming from Ukraine.
The Russian authorities did not immediately admit that the cause was a Ukrainian drone attack.
A source said: “There are no casualties.
“Rescue services are continuing their work at the scene to complete the elimination of the emergency and determine the causes of the incident.”
In Perm, huge flames erupted on a major gas pipeline in Kueda.
It triggered explosions and a fire in three freight wagons on a nearby train.
People were evacuated from nearby housing.
The cause was unclear and the region is far from the war zone, but Russia has been beset by sabotage attacks on oil and gas facilities linked to the war in Ukraine.
The Russian Investigative Committee announced a criminal case to establish the cause of the explosion and blaze.
A firefighting train had to be sent to the scene.
The cause of the blaze in Moscow on Chernyakhovsky Street is under investigation.
Fifteen people were rescued from the blaze including Russian singer Natalia Shturm, 57 who claimed tycoon Roman Abramovich, also 57, was in love with her at school.
Two Ka-32 helicopters were deployed at the inferno.
More than 130 people and 41 pieces of equipment were used to bring the blaze under control.