Russian gunpowder plants keep catching fire

Gunpowder keeps catching fire in unexplained devastating explosions that are taking place at Russian military facilities.

The latest explosion took place on Friday at a factory in central Russia. It’s the second explosion there in six months. The frequency of the explosions raises questions about whether they are accidents or intentional acts of sabotage.

“Social media users said that, at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night, a fire preceded an explosion in a factory in the city of Kotovsk, located around 300 miles south of Moscow, in Russia’s Tambov region. Russian Telegram channels Baza and Ostorozhno Novosti (Caution, News) reported the blaze took place over 300 square meters (3,200 square feet) and was extinguished after 90 minutes with no reports of casualties,” Newsweek reported.

(Video Credit: Ozillo News)

“Friday’s incident is the latest unexplained explosion to take place at a Russian military facility. In October, footage of the aftermath of a blast at an explosives factory in Solikamsk, in Russia’s central Perm region, showed plumes of smoke billowing over the facility, which reportedly supplies the Russian military with gunpowder and explosives,” the news outlet added.

Residents claimed that the massive explosion was “heard by the whole city” according to Ostorozhno Novosti.

In June, there was another explosion at that plant that reportedly killed five people. It led to a criminal investigation concerning whether safety rules during construction had been violated. It is unknown what the outcome of that investigation was.

“In April, there was an explosion at a gunpowder factory in Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. A 56-year-old employee lost his hand while testing a projectile, the Telegram channel Shot reported,” Newsweek recounted.

News outlet Astra reported that in March, another gunpowder factory caught fire in the city of Perm. The installation claimed it was due to a faulty panel on the outside of the building.

“In May 2022, two staff members were killed after an explosion at a munitions facility in Perm, which produced components [of] Russian missiles and air-defense systems. A second blast at the site was reported by Russian state media in late October 2022,” Newsweek reported.

Another Russian news outlet called Verstka reported in December 2022 that fires erupted at 72 military facilities, including bases, warehouses, and enlistment offices. Those occurred in the first ten months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Verstka cited open-source data in its report that asserted that there were cases of arson recorded every month. The outlet also claimed that there was an increase in attacks on military registration offices following Putin’s announcement of a partial mobilization back in September 2022.

There were alleged fires at gunpowder facilities located in Belgorod and Moscow as well. They also occurred at ammunition depots and airfields in Crimea.

“Russia has frequently accused Ukraine of targeting its facilities, with Kyiv seldom claiming responsibility immediately, although it is believed to have stepped up its attacks on Russian territory,” Newsweek stated.

“The role of partisans within Russia could also be a factor. This was alluded to regarding Saturday’s explosion in Tambov by the Telegram channel Rozpartisan, which wrote that Russia’s military-industrial complex ‘is a legitimate target for resistance forces,'” the news outlet continued.

“It added that explosions in the neighboring Ryazan region that led to the derailment of a freight train with 19 cars had hit ‘a legitimate target for partisans.’ It added that ‘the struggle for the liberation of the country continues,'” Newsweek concluded.


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