Russia is hit with yet another mystery blaze: Flames engulf chemical plant adding to speculation over Ukrainian ‘sabotage’ after series of deadly fires at military sites
- The blaze engulfed a chemical plant that makes plastic in Berdsk, central Russia
- The fire is the latest in a series of infernos at industrial and military facilities in Russia since Putin invaded Ukraine
- Some experts say Ukraine is responsible for the ‘sabotage’ of the sites in Russia
A mysterious fire has broken out at a Russian chemical plant today, amid mounting suspicion Ukraine is targeting infrastructure in Russia.
The blaze engulfed a plant making plastic in Berdsk, in the central Novosibirsk region, one of a series of suspected incidents of sabotage within Russia over the past few weeks.
Video showed thick black smoke rising up from burning building, with the fire ripping through the chemical plant’s roof.
The blaze appears to have destroyed production facilities, offices and a canteen. There were no reports of fatalities.
It is the latest in a series of infernos at industrial facilities and military sites in Russia since Vladimir Putin’s men invaded Ukraine, with some experts saying Ukraine is responsible for the ‘sabotage’ of plants – though Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the damage.
The blaze engulfed a plant making plastic in Berdsk, in the central Novosibirsk region, one of a series of suspected incidents of sabotage within Russia over the past few weeks
A fire rages at a chemical plant in Berdsk, Novosibirsk region, Russia, on Tuesday
Over a dozen fires in Russia have been reported since the war in Ukraine broke out, with the amount of incidents increasing over the past few weeks as Moscow enters its 12th week of the war.
In the latest blaze in Berdsk, almost 50 firefighters were working at the scene with some 22,000 square feet destroyed.
The fire began on polyethylene products on the building’s first floor, according to some reports.
Another fire on 4 May was at a railway tanker containing unspecified solvents on the territory of huge factory Kaprolaktam, in Dzerzhinsk, which once made chemical weapons.
Over a dozen fires in Russia have been reported since the war in Ukraine broke out, with the amount of incidents increasing over the past few weeks as Moscow enters its 12th week of the war
Footage shows a large fire in the Dzerzhinsky industrial zone in the Nizhny Novgorod region
Flames light up the night sky over Bryansk, a Russian city some 70 miles from the Ukraine border, after suspected Ukrainian missile strikes hit oil storage facilities there overnight
TIMELINE OF POSSIBLE SABOTAGE INSIDE RUSSIA:
March: In an unconfirmed date in March, five recruitment centers in Moscow were set on fire in the Voronezh, Sverdlovsk and Ivanovo regions
April 21: Russian officials said 17 people died in an Air-Space Defense Research Institute in Tver, 180km NW of Moscow, developing S-400 AD system and Kalibr Missile
April 21: Dmitrievsky chemical plant in the city of Kineshma explodes, 950km from Ukraine
April 22: As many as five Russian military enlistment offices have been set on fire in Ivanovo
April 22: The Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia is filmed on fire in Russia
April 23: A hydroelectric complex collapses, Kuban
April 25: Bryansk Oil depot, a Rosneft production site,
April 25: Ussuriysk military air force base is reported as on fire
April 28: A fire is filmed within a construction site in Minsk, Belarus
April 28: Cars marked with the nationalist Russian symbol ‘Z’ were filed on fire in Moscow
April 29: Multiple buildings burn in Russia after a fire raged at a shopping centre in Ishim
April 30: A GRES-2 120-megawatt coal-fired power plant was reportedly sabotaged in Sakhalin
May 1: videos documented fuel-oil tanks burning in Mytishchi, a fuel depot only thirty minutes from the Kremlin
May 1: Photos suggested a railway bridge in Russia’s Kursk region was destroyed due to sabotage
May 2: Film showed a fire at a munitions factory facility in Perm, near the Ural Mountains
May 3: A fire at a four-floor pro-Kremlin publishing warehouse broke out in the Bogorodsk urban district of the Moscow region
May 4: Footage emerged of a large fire in the Dzerzhinsky industrial zone in the Nizhny Novgorod region
May 15: A fire broke out at a chemical plant making plastics in Berdsk in the Novosibirsk region
A blaze a few days earlier on 1 May saw a gigantic fire in which three women died at explosives manufacturer Perm Gunpowder Plant, which supplies the army.
The plant makes Grad and Smerch multiple launch rocket systems, used by Russian forces in Ukraine, as well as air defence systems and tank rounds. It also supplies gunpowder for small arms.
Meanwhile, flames lit up the sky over Russia on 25 April after suspected Ukrainian missile strikes blew up two oil storage facilities supplying Putin’s troops fighting for control of Donbas.
The Transneft-Druzhba Oil Depot, located in the city of Bryansk around 70 miles from the Ukrainian border, caught fire before a second fire broke out at a nearby military facility around 15 minutes later, Russian state media said.
Video of the moment one of the fires broke out appeared to capture the sound of an incoming missile before a large explosion and fireball. Bryansk is a logistical hub for Russian forces battling Ukraine in Donbas, while the Druzhba pipeline is one of the main routes for Russian oil to reach Europe.
Days earlier, the Dmitrievsky chemical plant in Kineshma burned down on 21 April.
This was the largest Russian manufacturer of chemical solvents used in a variety of industries including defence facilities.
Another fire that has raised questions of sabotage was at a Russia missile design institute in which 22 weapons officials and designers died.
At least 13 employees of the facility in Tver remain in hospital from among 54 rescued from ferocious flames.
Another 98 were safely evacuated and one remains missing, presumed dead, from the blaze on 21 April at Russia’s Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Defence Forces
This and other mysterious fires may be aimed at seeking ‘to dissuade his weapons of mass destruction brinkmanship’, says a US expert.
Professor Douglas London, of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and a retired 34-year CIA operations officer, told Foreign Policy journal that some recent incidents – including oil deport fires – may have been sabotage linked to the war.
‘US and allied enabling of a Ukrainian sabotage campaign inside Russia telegraphs a significant and escalating cost Putin can ill afford,’ he said.
Russia’s leading independent gun-maker urged the Russian authorities to be more suspicious of sabotage over the wave of fires.
Vladislav Lobaev said: ‘The Dmitrievsky chemical plant in the city of Kineshma burned down.
‘It is the largest Russian manufacturer of chemical solvents used in a variety of industries….
‘Separately, the building of the defence research Institute in Tver burned to the ground…
‘It was at this institute that the Iskanders and the S-400 were developed.’
He warned: ‘It is hard to believe in such coincidences, especially with large or such iconic enterprises.
‘In wartime, it is necessary to work out the version of sabotage more actively.’
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