Eastern Europe

Moscow Accuses Kyiv Of Sabotaging Ammonia Pipeline

YouTube Screenshot of Smoke/Haze Leaking from Pipeline

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Russia has accused Ukraine of sabotaging the Tolyatti-Odesa pipeline, which runs some 2,500km and is the longest ammonia pipeline in the world. It is utilized by Russia to export the chemical for industrial use as it is a core component of fertilizers. According to a Wednesday statement by the Russian Defense Ministry (MoD), “A Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group blew up the Tolyatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline” near the village of Masyutovka in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine.

Videos and images surfaced on social media this week of what appears to be a chemical leak and a thick white haze or smoke leaking from the pipeline and settling in a forest and enveloping the nearby village after the pipe ruptured Monday evening.

According to the defense ministry, civilian injuries were reported as a result of the sabotage.

“As a result of this terrorist act, there are victims among the civilian population. They received the necessary medical care,” the ministry reported.

Meanwhile, ZeroHedge has reported that Kyiv is accusing Moscow of shelling the pipeline and causing damage.

“Currently, the ammonia remnants are being drained through the damaged pipeline sections from Ukrainian territory. There are no casualties among Russian army personnel,” the MoD statement added.

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A Department of Labor OSHA fact sheet states that “Ammonia is considered a high health hazard because it is corrosive to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Exposure to 300 parts per million (ppm) is immediately dangerous to life and health. Ammonia is also flammable at concentrations of approximately 15% to 28% by volume in air.”

“When mixed with lubricating oils, its flammable concentration range is increased. It can explode if released in an enclosed space with a source of ignition present, or if a vessel containing anhydrous ammonia is exposed to fire. Fortunately, ammonia has a low odor threshold (20 ppm), so most people will seek relief at much lower concentrations,” the fact sheet added.

What is leaking out of the pipeline in Kharkiv is essentially a flammable, toxic gas cloud.

The ammonia pipeline sabotage has received little media attention, however, as it has been overshadowed by the catastrophe unfolding in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine where an explosion at the Nova Kakhovka dam on Tuesday unleashed an entire reservoir of water on 80 villages downstream and flooded Kherson city while also eliminating a reliable water supply for Crimea. While it is clear that the dam was sabotaged, it is unclear at this time whether Moscow or Kyiv is responsible for the devastation as both sides are blaming the other.

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