According to BBC intelligence sources, a nighttime drone strike against the Novolipetsk Metallurgical Combine (NLMK) was organized by two Ukrainian intelligence services: the SBU and the GUR.

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"This is one of the largest metallurgical plants in Russia. It works for the Russian military-industrial complex and fulfills a large number of government orders. Raw materials from this enterprise are used to manufacture Russian missiles, artillery, drones, etc. Therefore, it is a legitimate target for Ukraine," the source noted.

As sources from the security services add, SBU and GUR drones have come across installations designed for the primary cooling of raw coke gas.

The defeat of these facilities, according to sources, will bring the entire production process of the steel plant to a halt for a long time.

On Saturday morning, residents of Lipetsk reported the sounds of explosions in the city, and posted footage of a fire at the Novolipetsk plant on social networks.

The governor of the Lipetsk region, Igor Artamonov, announced that a fire broke out in one of NLMK's workshops during the night.

"The fire is extinguished, no one was injured. There is no risk of dangerous substances being released," he said.

Later, Artamonov reported that two drones were intercepted over the Lipetsk region at night, reports news.bg.

Two years since the start of Russia's war against Ukraine

There was no comment from the Russian authorities or the management of the enterprise about the extent of the damage at NLMK, apart from what was said by the governor of Lipetsk.

The owner of the Novolipetsk plant is the Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin.

According to Forbes, he is one of the three richest people in Russia, and despite his closeness to Vladimir Putin, he remains one of the few richest Russians who has managed to avoid sanctions imposed by the West on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine.

A fire broke out at a plant of Russian steelmaker NLMK on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine

Forbes wrote, citing a Times investigation, that Lisin's enterprise supplied steel to Russian companies producing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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