On March 23rd, 2017, One of Ukraine’s largest munitions depots containing an estimated ten thousand tons of ammunition, missiles and other military equipment went up in flames. The military is..
How have they reacted to the towering inferno at hand?
On March 23rd, 2017, One of Ukraine’s largest munitions depots containing an estimated ten thousand tons of ammunition, missiles and other military equipment went up in flames. The military is claiming that this is an international act of sabotage. The battle with pro-Russian separatists have been ongoing since 2014.
What happened in the aftermath of the fire?
The fire led to the detonation of the stockpile munitions but it remains to be seen what caused the actual spark. No deaths have been reported yet but the towns surrounding the depot have been evacuated to avoid dangerous offshoots of the detonation. The depot is in the town of Balakliya which is in the eastern part of the country. The town is in close proximity to the areas held by Pro-Russian rebels; who have held certain areas around the border since the annexation of Crimea.
What is the government doing?
Fire fighters and the military immediately reacted and helped but out the raging fire which could be seen from kilometers away. The fire encompassed the 350km dumping ground and was quite difficult to put out. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman announced that he would travel to the site of the disaster. The munitions and arms housed in the depot were used by Ukrainian troops fighting insurgents but were not disposed properly leading to the possibility of such an inferno breaking out.
The Ukrainian military has been battling pro-Russian separatists in the province of Kharkov and two other eastern regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – since April 2014. The conflict has killed over 10,000 people.
At least two civilians were killed and eight people injured in a similar incident in October 2015 in the government-held city of Svatove, near rebel-held territory. Ukraine’s security services have launched an investigation. The military is adamant that Russian insurgents set off the fire so they could infiltrate the area and begin to move away from their strongholds in the east.
Separatists have sought to take control of some Ukrainian assets in their territory in response to a rail blockade by a group of Ukrainian activists that has also caused problems for the Ukrainian government due to its squeeze on strategic coal and steel supplies.