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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KYIV, UKRAINE … via VoA
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.