Kiev: Military base was blown up in the early hours of Thursday morning in Balakleya. Rescue teams are helping residents in nearby villages evacuate in Kharkiv region. Explosions caused several sites in the warehouse storing weapons to blow up. Base is located 60 miles from Ukraine’s war against Russian-backed separatists
The Ukrainian military said unknown saboteurs blew up a warehouse storing tank ammunition at a military base in the east of the country early on Thursday.The base, which contained about 138,000 tonnes of ammunition including rockets and tank ammunition, is located in the city of Balakleya about 100 km (60 miles) from the frontline of Ukraine’s war against Russian-backed separatists. Rescue teams were helping residents nearby villages in the eastern Kharkiv region, the military said, and up to 20,000 were evacuated.
Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios said: ‘According to preliminary data, as a result of sabotage, last night at 2.46am, fire and explosions caused the detonation of ammunition at several sites storing rockets and artillery weapons.’
Military spokesman Oleksander Motuzyanyk said security around other bases was being beefed up. Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman was due to fly to the area later on Thursday, but nobody is thought to have been hurt in the incident.
Saboteurs previously 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.