Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Ukraine's Defense Ministry says a fire at an ammunition depot in the Vinnytsya region southwest of Kyiv has set off a series of explosions.

The ministry said on September 11 that a grass fire touched off the incident, which involved six explosions. There were no casualties, it added.

Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk said the situation at the ammunition depot in the town of Kalynivka is under control and there is no need for extraordinary measures.

Two years earlier, more than 30,000 people were evacuated from Kalynivka after artillery warehouses there exploded.

There have been several explosions and fires at Ukrainian arms depots in recent years, amid fighting between government forces and the Russia-backed separatists who hold parts of Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

In October last year, more than 12,000 people were evacuated from the town of Ichnya, some 130 kilometers northeast of Kyiv, after ammunition stored at the depot there began exploding, sparking a huge blaze.

In March 2017, a massive deflagration at a munitions depot near the eastern city of Kharkiv forced the evacuation of about 20,000 residents living within a 20-kilometer radius of the site.

Authorities have frequently blamed the blasts on sabotage, and the government has allocated 100 million hryvnyas ($3.6 million) for the protection of the country's ammunition storage facilities.

Based on reporting by UNIAN and Ukrayinska Pravda

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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