Powerful explosions at military ammunition depots in Ukraine

by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor,  and YouTube

[ Editor’s Note: This is quite an unusual blow to Ukraine, as we are told this was Russian sabotage, of course; but incompetence on safety measures certainly is always on the table in Ukraine. Kiev tends forget that the East Ukraine separatists suffered losing a depot early in the war. While the story below describes a tank ammunition storage base, you can clearly see grad rockets going off.

In the helicopter drone footage below, you can see how the grad rockets might have helped extend the explosions beyond the initial facility that was hit. This is unusual footage to have of an ammo dump going off at the ground level, and then with the drone view.  The grads were left out of the description of the inventory, maybe because they are the weapon used to inflict the most punishment on civilians and infrastructure, and yet no Western country supporter of Ukraine, or the UN, made a big deal about it.

Veteran VT readers will remember the Syrian base that got nuked outside Damascus, while it was being shelled from the Golan Heights. That was to give the appearance of an ammo dump cooking off as cover for when the tactical nuke hit. We have the same situation with the alleged ammo dump that got nuked in Yemen, where we saw no cooking off like in the videos, always present in an ammo dump.

Who knows, maybe the plant that makes the tank shells needed some new business. Anything is possible in Ukraine, no matter how crazy it sounds. And rule number two in government — no one, ever, takes any responsibility for anything that goes wrong. No one in the past ever has taken responsibility, so those following continue the tradition, as no one wants to be the goat JD ]

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“Bye, buy ammo dump”

The Ukrainian military said unknown saboteurs blew up a warehouse storing tank ammunition at a military base in the east of the country early Thursday. The massive fire prompted the evacuation of about 20,000 people.

The base, which contained about 138,000 tons of ammunition, is in the city of Balakleya about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the frontline of Ukraine’s war against Russian-backed separatists.

Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, Anatolii Matios, said on Facebook that the blaze, which erupted early Thursday at the depot in Balaklia, was sparked by the sabotage. He said there was no immediate information about any casualties.


The arsenal holds large-caliber artillery rounds and is one of Ukraine’s largest.

“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 has flown to the area to monitor the blaze, which is still raging.

[ Here is the night drone footage]

Kharkiv lies just north of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, where Ukrainian troops have been fighting Russia-backed separatists. The conflict has killed more than 9,800 since April 2014.

Saboteurs 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.


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Posted by on March 24, 2017, With 4228 Reads Filed under WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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9 Responses to "Powerful explosions at military ammunition depots in Ukraine"

  1. Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  March 26, 2017 at 3:30 am

    Such accidents are typical for ex-USSR republics. If a ammunition storage base blows up it means 2 things:
    1. Drinking, smoking, the commanders make a party.
    2. The ammo was stolen or sold and the fire is the way to hide the thievery.

  2. JohnZ  March 25, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Sabotage? Maybe. Carelessness? More than likely. safety measures have a bad habit of being ignored by the stupid and lazy.
    May4, 1988, Henderson, Nevada, the PEPCON plant that produced ammonium perchlorate for the space shuttle and other missiles exploded causing more than a billion dollars in damage to the city of Henderson.
    Two massive explosions, at 3 and 3.5 on the Rrichter scale sent massive shock waves into town knocking people off their feet. More the 8 million pounds of A/P went off destroying the plant which killed two people and injured others trying to escape. The explosion has been investigated by the insurance companies looking to reclaim more than 77 million dollars from the owners of the PEPCON plant. It was theorized that welding sparks touch off a fire and then began to set off the A/P which were stored in barrels.
    Carelessness does have its consequences. willing to bet that Ivan tossed away a still lit cigarette and the next thing that happened makes a good You Tube video.

  3. JohnRaven  March 25, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Nice video of the explosion. Filmed by a drone.


  4. Garry Compton  March 25, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Good one Jim, hopefully this saved another thousand lives of those living in Donbass. I hitched a ride on a bus 2 days ago coming from Donetsk and some of the faces on these people are stone cold – if Russia wasn’t there to help – and the good men and women of Donbass didn’t resist – it would have been worse- its bad enough….. Spacibo

  5. David Odell  March 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    IMF held up the 1 billion the other day, and back in Feb 2016 the whole 40 billion for Ukraine was threatened.
    As an eternal optimist, I have a shred of hope that Lagarde may be one of those insiders with intuition and heart that might recognize a chance to change things for the better. Here’s a link to the most recent article.. http://www.france24.com/en/20170319-ukraine-says-imf-suspends-discussion-fresh-handout

    • Trakkath  March 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      LaGarde is long out of IMF, search for Karen Hudes and see who is really in power of World Bank and IMF

    • David Odell  March 25, 2017 at 5:50 am

      Trakkath, Lagarde started a new 5 year term in July 2016 as Managing Director of the IMF. In 2014 she was ranked as 5th most powerful woman in the world. She was the first woman to be Finance Minister of a G-8 economy, and is the first woman to head the IMF. She is an extremely talented and knowledgable person who just called out corruption in Ukraine govt. A true keeper of the “well”, and a valuable asset to anyone. There is a legion of “whistleblowers” who have had more impact than Hudes.

  6. wjabbe  March 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    BB today:
    “A Russian politician and prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, Denis Voronenkov, was killed in the streets of Kiev on Wednesday, having fled Russia last October in fear of his life.”

    • Andrew_Bukanov(Russia)  March 24, 2017 at 7:46 pm

      Rats run, but not every is killed. Every rat has its value.

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