Ground Report | New Delhi: Ukraine Ammonia chemical; Residents of the northern Ukrainian city of Novoselytsya should seek shelter after an ammonia leak at a nearby chemical factory, an official said Monday, as heavy fighting with Russian forces continues in the area. Sumy regional governor Dmytro Zhyvytsky said there was an “ammonia leak” at the Sumykhimprom facility, affecting an area within 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) of the plant, which produces fertilizer.
The scope and cause of the incident were not immediately clear, but residents were told to seek shelter in basements or lower levels of buildings to avoid exposure. “Ammonia is lighter than air, therefore shelters, basements and lower floors should be used for protection,” Zhyvytsky said in a Telegram message.
He added that emergency crews were on the scene and prevailing winds meant the nearby city of Sumy, with a population of around 250,000 before the war, was not under immediate threat.
According to the Sumykhimprom website, the facility produces a variety of chemical fertilizers. Sumy, some 350 kilometers (220 miles) east of kyiv, has experienced weeks of heavy fighting. In recent days, the Russian government has stepped up propaganda and disinformation efforts alleging that Ukraine is preparing to use improvised chemical weapons and has been developing a clandestine WMD program.
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Sunday night that “nationalists” had “mined” the chlorine and ammonia storage facilities in Sumykhimprom “with the aim of mass poisoning the residents of the Sumy region, in case of entry into the city of units of the Russian Armed Forces”.
Russia has repeatedly denied helping Syria use chemical weapons in multiple attacks against its own citizens during the country’s 11-year civil war. Moscow has also denied using chemical weapons against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. (Ukraine Ammonia chemical)