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September 26, Ukraine was shocked by an extraordinary event - a fire broke out on the territory of the 48th arsenal of ammunition of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kalynivka, Vinnytsia region, which resulted in detonation of shells.
The wreckage of ammunition flew within a radius of 5 km, fell on the people’s houses, gardens and public facilities. The population of the city, located 20 km from the regional center (Vinnytsia), as well as nearby villages was forced to evacuate.
The air space in the radius of 50 kilometers from the zone of the fire is closed according to the decision of the 'Ukraerocenter'. Also, the movement by the railway road Sosenka-Kalinovla and the movement to Zhmerynka are closed. It was reported on the closure of the movement at the road Vinnytsta-Kyiv and Zhytomyr-Mogylev-Podilsky.
More than two thousand people were sent to liquidate the fire and its consequences (rescuers, military, police, National Guard, doctors) and almost 300 units of equipment (including fire planes, helicopters, tanks and trains).
The military prosecutor's office qualified the event under Article 113 of the Criminal Code - "sabotage," but other law enforcement agencies noted that they have several versions.
The extraordinary meeting with the participation of the head of state, Prime Minister Groysman, NSDC Secretary Turchynov, Defense Minister Poltorak, Chief of the General Staff Muzhenko, Security Service Chairman Hrytsak, as well as the leadership of the National Police, National Guard, and the Emergency Service took place September 27.
The president stated that the tendency of explosions in military depots poses a threat to national security, which means that the National Security and Defense Council of the country should take measures to prevent a repetition of such a situation.
In addition, Poroshenko ordered that units of paramilitary protection of Ukrainian railways, extra-departmental protection, further strengthened the defense of strategic facilities. "We cannot tolerate these events," the president stressed.
Chairman of the State Emergency Service Chechetkin noted that the fire is localizeвd, the rescuers work around the clock.
According to him, more than 30 thousand people were evacuated from the disaster zone. The employees of pyrotechnic calculations demine the territories of settlements adjacent to the military arsenal. "I think in the next few days we will demine the settlements, and the population will be able to return to normal living conditions," he said.
In turn, Defense Minister Poltorak stressed that the military arsenal in Kalynivka could potentially take 140,000 tons of ammunition. Before the fire, there were 83 thousand tons of ammunition, about a third of which were not ready for use. This year, 25 million UAH were allocated for the object.
According to Muzhenko, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, most of the assets and ammunition that were stored in the warehouse were saved.
First Deputy Head of the National Police Abroskin noted that the police units of Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Cherkasy, Khmelnytsky, and Kyiv regions were sent to Kalynivka. There, law enforcers placed 49 roadblocks to protect the disaster zone.
Prime Minister Groysman said that all the services responsible for the elimination of the consequences of the fire are working together. The government has decided to allocate 100 million UAH for the liquidation of the consequences of an emergency.
The head of Security Service Hrytsak added that a joint operative-investigative group has been set up, which is now investigating all the circumstances of the incident.
Although the fire at the military arsenal of ammunition has not been completely eliminated, the situation in the disaster zone is normalized. Fortunately, no people died as a result of the emergency, two women were injured and hospitalized.
At least seven houses were destroyed by the shells, according to the State Emergency Service, although the police say they received information on 9 such cases. Law enforcers did not record facts of looting and other gross violations of law and order in settlements.
This morning the chief military prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios denied information about the sabotage groups in Kalynivka, who could conduct the arson of the military arsenal. He stressed that talks about drone and other things have no basis. "We need to establish the reason why this happened: this is improper storage, which had technical capabilities of the 1987," he stressed.
The military prosecutor added that, in his opinion, the protection of the military depot in Kalynivka was inadequate. According to him, earlier law enforcers detained two drunk officers guarding the ammunition depot for Tochka-U missiles, but he did not specify in which part of the facility the incident took place.
Earlier, councilor of the Minister of Internal Affairs, People's Deputy Anton Herashchenko said that he would demand resignation of the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Viktor Muzhenko, as well as his deputy, responsible for the safety and security of military depots.
In his opinion, Muzhenko is to blame for what happened, he must leave his post, vacating a place for a man who "will lead the process of real, and not fake reform of the army and navy." Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksandr Turchynov supports this opinion, however without a applying to personalities.
In his turn, the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Viktor Muzhenko, responded to all sorts of accusations: "Regarding the emotional background and the hysterics, the enemy reminded that a war is under way, the main target of his attack is the Armed Forces as the main support of Ukraine's national security. People, who strives to weaken the combat readiness and integrity of the Armed Forces, have immediately appeared here. Their task coincides with the aim of our enemy: to convince society that the Ukraine’s Armed Forces are unable to adequately respond to threats, protect their people. They want to reduce confidence in the army, and against this background to realize their political ambitions. These people do not understand that the Armed Forces have become different, not as they were in 2014. Ukraine’s army became stronger and more combatable. The war hardened everyone - from the soldier to the general. I repeat for those who have not yet understood – you will not to accuse me or my subordinates of inactivity."
At the same time, the head of the General Staff noted the successes of the power structures in eliminating the consequences of the fire in the territory of the ammunition arsenal in Kalynivka and thanked them for their work.