Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the blast was caused by a Russian airstrike, while the Kremlin said it was Ukrainian forces who hit the nitric acid tank – footage was taken by a Ukrainian soldier
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This is the moment when a cloud of toxic nitric acid spews orange fumes into the sky after a Russian airstrike on a chemical plant.
Lugansk Governor Serhiy Haidai said the blast was caused by a Russian airstrike, while the Kremlin said it was Ukrainian forces who hit the nitric acid tank.
The footage was taken by a Ukrainian soldier.
A Russian source said: “Footage has emerged of a chemical tanker explosion, suspected to contain nitric acid, triggered by Ukrainian forces at the Azot plant in Severodonetsk.
“The relaxed behavior of the Ukrainian soldiers confirms that the Russian artillery was not shelling the plant at the time of the explosion.”
The Russian Investigative Committee announced a criminal investigation into the release of nitric acid.
Mr Haidai said an airstrike by a Russian warplane led to the release of the chemical.
He said thousands of residents were exposed to toxic fumes.
It’s unclear how many residents remain in the city of 106,000, as many have fled since the invasion began in February.
Haidai told the BBC: “Our troops are still staying in the city and are still resisting the Russian army for the time being.
“But if they have to retreat to the other side of the river, closer to Lysychansk to conserve troops, then they probably will.”
It comes a day after a Kremlin TV propagandist claimed that World War III has already begun and that Russia’s task is now to “demilitarize” NATO.
Rossiya-1 presenter Olga Skabeyeva can be seen in a video claiming that the much-vaunted Russian military special operation in Ukraine is “now over”.
The West’s arms shipments to Ukraine meant it was now a global conflict, she said, as Russia’s enemy demonstrated new British Wolfhound heavy tactical support vehicles.
“Perhaps it is time to admit that Russia’s special operation in Ukraine is now over,” Skabeyeva said.
“In the sense that a real war has started, World War III. We are forced to demilitarize not only Ukraine, but NATO as a whole.
“Why am I talking about this? It wasn’t just Smerch MLRS with cluster munitions that hit Donetsk.
“The attacks were carried out with … American M777 howitzers.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/poisonous-nitric-acid-cloud-spews-27123438 Toxic nitric acid cloud spews orange fumes into sky after Russian airstrike - World News