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Huge fire at 'top secret' Russian defence HQ leaves five dead and 30 wounded
21 April 2022, 14:41 | Updated: 21 April 2022, 15:22
A huge fire has broken out in the Russian Ministry of Defence's NII-2 building where decisions on airforce strategy and aerospace technology are reportedly made.
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The massive blaze at the military headquarters in Tver, Russia is said to have left five people dead and 30 wounded.
A number of people were reportedly forced to jump out of windows at the Second Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation to flee from the fire.
Initial reports said the fire had started on the second floor of the military research institute.
Video footage shows large plumes of black smoke coming from the building. The roof of military research institute is also said to have collapsed due to the fire.
Russian media outlet TASS reported that the fire department was called to the scene at around midday.
According to an ambulance crew spokesman “some of the victims inhaled smoke, others had bruises and injuries, as people led the fire and jumped from windows,” he said.
The "Iskander" and "S-400" Russian missile systems were designed in the same building.
The blaze, which started on the second floor and engulfed about 1,000 square meters, hasn’t been contained yet.
The roof, the roof.— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) April 21, 2022
The roof of military research institute in Tver' has partially collapsed. Number of wounded increased to 30 pic.twitter.com/fLx8u2Wdpf
This comes as Vladimir Putin has declared victory over the Ukrainian city of Mariupol after his forces spent weeks reducing it to rubble in a horrific siege, claiming the city is 'liberated'.
The Russian President declared the "liberation" of the city Mariupol after his forces completely destroyed it during the two-month siege.
In a televised clip, Putin spoke with minister Sergei Shoigu, telling him to block off the Azovstal steel plant, where the last Ukrainian troops are holed up, "so that a fly can't get in".
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told Putin that Russian forces now control the Ukrainian port city apart from the plant.
Putin cancelled plans to storm the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, where the final Ukrainian troops have been holding out against the Russian onslaught.
He said there was "no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities."
He called for his forces to "block off this industrial area so that not even a fly can escape."