Reports on social media, including video footage, showed powerful explosions taking place at a metallurgical plant in Novolipetsk believed to have been caused by drones in an operation organized by Ukrainian special services.

However, it is still unclear which of the three main agencies – the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the State Security Service (SSU) or the Military Intelligence Directorate, were involved.

“This is one of the largest metallurgical plants in Russia. He works for the military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation and fulfills a large number of government orders. Raw materials from this enterprise are used to manufacture Russian missiles, artillery, drones, and so on. Therefore, it is a legitimate target for Ukraine,” a security service source told RBC news.

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It is reported that a large-scale fire began following the explosions. According to the Ukrainian special services, the drones targeted installations designed for the primary cooling of untreated coke oven gas, the damage of which will lead to the halting of most if not all production processes in the plant for some time.

According to Forbes, the owner of the affected plant is Vladimir Lisin, a Russian oligarch believed to be a close confidante to Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of the three richest people in the Russian Federation.

Novolipetsk Iron and Steel Works (NLMK) is the largest enterprise in the Russian Federation and the 17th largest in the world. The plant’s products are used in strategically important industries. Steel and alloys from there are used, among other things, for use in the production of munitions, nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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