Ukrainian authorities on Monday asked residents of the northern Ukrainian town of Novoselytsya to take shelter after an ammonia “leak” at a nearby chemical plant, amid fighting against Russian troops are raging in the region.
The extent and cause of the incident are unclear at this stage, but residents have been asked to seek refuge in basements or low-rise buildings to avoid exposure.
The city of Sumy is not threatened
“Ammonia is lighter than air, therefore shelters, cellars and lower floors should be used for protection,” Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky wrote in a message posted on Telegram.
He added that emergency rescue teams were on the scene and that the nearby town of Sumy (about 250,000 inhabitants before the war) was not immediately threatened, due to the direction of the prevailing winds.
Moscow accuses Ukrainians of ‘mining’ facilities
The Russian government has recently increased its allegations that Ukraine is preparing to use chemical weapons and is developing a clandestine program.
Russia’s Defense Minister said on Sunday evening that “nationalists” had “mined” the ammonia and chlorine storage facilities in Sumykhimprom “with the aim of massively poisoning the inhabitants of the Sumy region, in the event of a ‘Entry into the city of units of the Russian armed forces’.
Russia has consistently denied helping Syria use chemical weapons in attacks on its population during that country’s war. Moscow has also denied using chemicals against Russian opponent Alexei Navalny and former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who were poisoned.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.