Footage shared on social media on Friday shows clouds of smoke rising from a building in Korolev, which is known as the cradle of Russian and Soviet space exploration. It has not been possible to confirm the date or time of the blaze. If confirmed, the fire would be the third reported to have struck significant locations in Russia this week.
It comes after a fire broke out at Russia’s largest chemical plant.
Smoke was seen rising from the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant near the border with Ukraine on Thursday.
The blaze follows a fire which reportedly killed six people in a Russian Ministry of Defence building in the city of Tver, northwest of Moscow.
Russia’s TASS news agency cited a source as saying on Friday that a criminal investigation into fire safety has been launched after six people died and more than 20 were injured in a blaze at the defence research institute.
TASS quoted a law enforcement source as saying military investigators will look into the case.
It reported that the fire broke out on Thursday, killing six, injuring 24 and prompting evacuation of about 100 people.
Interfax reported on Friday that an electrical fault caused the blaze.
Footage from the scene which appeared on Russian social media showed thick smoke and flames billowing from the institute’s windows.
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Rustam Minnekayev, deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, was quoted by Russian state news agencies as saying full control would give Moscow access to a breakaway, Russian-occupied part of Moldova.
That would cut off Ukraine’s entire coastline and mean pushing hundreds of miles west beyond current lines, past the major Ukrainian cities of Mykolaiv and Odesa.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Twitter that Russia had stopped “hiding” it, adding that Moscow had “acknowledged that the goal of the ‘second phase’ of the war is not victory over the mythical Nazis, but simply the occupation of eastern and southern Ukraine. Imperialism as it is.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment when asked if his country had expanded its goals of operation and how Moscow saw the political future of southern Ukraine.
A senior EU official said the next two weeks was likely to be decisive.
The official said: “This is not a fairy tale with an imminent happy ending.
“I think we are likely to see a very significant increase in the intensity of Russian military attacks in the east, I think we are likely to see an intensification of Russian military attacks along the coast.”
Ukraine’s general staff said Putin’s forces had increased attacks all along the frontline in the east and were trying to mount an offensive in the Kharkiv region, north of their main target, the Donbas.
Russia’s defence ministry said its forces had captured a large arms depot in the Kharkiv region. It also reported hitting dozens of targets in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions on Friday.
In Kharkiv city, Russian shellfire hit the main Barabashovo market.
Ambulance services said there had been casualties but no details were available yet.
A wedding hall and a residential building were also struck.