In Balaklje, the ammunition depot is burning, missiles are flown, strong explosions. Kharkov region. HD. Evacua. Alex Popov
[Russian state media supervision service]
A catastrophe at military depots near Kharkov is considered a diversion. The total area of storage facilities of 122- and 152-mm howitzer shells, rockets to salvo fire systems and even, according to some information, ballistic missiles “Tochka U” is amazing – 368 hectares. According to official data, the total mass of ammunition in the warehouse was 138 thousand tons .
Here is how the main military prosecutor of the Kiev regime Anatoly Matios describes what happened:
“According to preliminary information (now as a result of investigative actions) of the investigative-prosecutorial group of the military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkov garrison and the investigation department of the SBU in the Kharkiv region (which are on the scene), due to the sabotage last night, at 2:45, at several storage sites (Tank and artillery shells 125 and 152 mm) near the city of Balakleya in the Kharkov region there was an explosion (a fire broke out), which caused detonation of ammunition. ”
The total area of the arsenal is 368 hectares and 138 thousand tons of ammunition.
From the place of detonation through the establishment of the blockade, a conditional seven kilometer cordon of the zone of danger of the spread of ammunition is organized.
There are no data on human casualties.
On the site of events, a staff is working as part of the regional leadership and law enforcement agencies.
On the instructions of the Ministry of Defense, a board with a commission headed by the deputy defense minister for armament of Pavlovsky flew from Kiev.
Taking into account the possibility of increasing the area of detonation of ammunition and their dispersal, an evacuation of local population from the settlements of Verbovka and Yakovenkovo is organized . All necessary measures are taken to prevent the loss of human life, to establish eyewitnesses of sabotage and to examine the place of events.
According to Matios, the heavy fire fighting equipment of the Defense Ministry arrived at the scene of the events. Prepares to take off the UAV to establish the actual volumes of the affected areas of the arsenal. The State Border Service has strengthened the border control regime in the north-eastern direction.
It should be noted that there is a fire train in the warehouse itself, and fire tanks, at least, were in 2011, when the exercises were held there just for a similar case , therefore, probably, the prosecutor exaggerates the merits of the “emergency response” of the Defense Ministry. He does not have information on other items:
No UAVs will allow to determine in the morning the area covered by fires and explosions – due to smoke and turbulent flows on the borders of the burning area, caused by the rising streams of hot air (more than 100 km / h).
Because of the spread of not only the fragments of shells, but also missiles, no investigative actions “at the scene” can not be carried out. Maximum, investigators who arrived only a couple of hours ago from Kharkov, could find and interview those who are in a state of shock, but managed to escape, sentries from which nothing coherent and reliable can be achieved simply because witnesses can not determine at night where and how It all began. And for objective reasons – 368 hectares are simply not visible from one point and it is impossible to speak about “simultaneous” ignition (and diversion).
The Ukrainian military said unknown saboteurs blew up a warehouse storing tank ammunition at a military base in the east of the country early on Thursday, but nobody was hurt.
The base, which contained about 138,000 tonnes of ammunition, is located in the city of Balakleya about 100 km (60 miles) from the frontline of Ukraine’s war against Russian-backed separatists.
Rescue teams were evacuating nearby villages in the eastern Kharkiv region, the military said.
“According to preliminary data … as a result of sabotage, last night at 2.46 AM (0046 GMT), fire and explosions caused the detonation of ammunition at several sites storing rockets and artillery weapons,” Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios wrote on Facebook.
Military spokesman Oleksander Motuzyanyk said security around other bases was being beefed up. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman was due to fly to the area later on Thursday.
Saboteurs previously tried to destroy the same base using drones in 2015, another military spokesman, Yuzef Venskovich, told the 112 TV channel.
More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict between Ukraine and the separatist rebels since 2014.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Matthias Williams and Gareth Jones)