Russian propaganda has tried to blame Ukrainian forces for deadly explosions causing toxic fumes from a chemical factory in Severodonetsk. The Russian claims have been robustly rejected by Ukraine.
The Severodonetsk Azot Chemical plant came under attack from Russian rockets at approximately 14:00 on 31 May. At the time of the attack the plant premises were under Ukrainian Army control, which suggests that it is highly unlikely that Ukrainian units shelled their own positions.
On that day, the Russian army ran assault operations in the western part of Severodonetsk, supported by artillery most probably from the units of the 150th separate motorised rifle brigade, as well as the 2nd and the 7th separate motorised rifle brigades of the 2nd army corps of the Russian Army.
That the Russian accusation was entirely contrived can be shown by the fact that Russia submitted an official report on 8 May to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons alleging the intentions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to carry out a chemical attack by blowing up chemical storage tanks in Severodonetsk.
Further evidence of this clumsy attempt at a false flag operation is provided by an old news article dating back to 1 March planted by the so-called Luhansk Peoples’ Republic saying that Ukraine was plotting to blow up the Severodonetsk chemical plant, quoting the representative of the People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic, Ivan Filiponenko. “According to information we have received, in the city of Severodonetsk, Ukrainian militants mined ammonia warehouses and, in the next few days, are planning to blow them up in order to later accuse the People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic of this provocation,” Filiponenko told reporters.
This would appear to be a standard Russian propaganda attempt taken from their playbook to blame their opponents in advance and blatantly lie with unsubstantiated allegations, when they intend to commit exactly such atrocities themselves with toxic chemicals.