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The Azot chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine. File photo: Reuters

Ukraine’s Zelensky blasts ‘crazy’ Russia over chemical plant hit in Sievierodonetsk

  • Russian troops hit chemical plant in their bid to complete the capture of city
  • Local governor advised people to take shelter, prepare protective face masks

Russian forces struck a tank containing nitric acid at a chemical plant in Ukraine’s eastern city of Sievierodonetsk that they are trying to seize, the local governor said on Tuesday, calling on people to stay in shelters.

An air strike by Moscow forces “hit a tank with nitric acid at a chemical plant”, the governor of the Luhansk region, Sergiy Gaiday, said on Telegram.

“Nitric acid is dangerous if inhaled, swallowed and in contact with skin,” he added.

“Do not come out of shelters!” Gaiday said.

He asked remaining residents in the city – which has seen fierce battles for days – to “prepare protective face masks impregnated with soda solution”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia’s air strike at a chemical plant in Sievierodonetsk was “just crazy”.


But it is “no longer surprising that for the Russian military, for Russian commanders, for Russian soldiers, any madness is absolutely acceptable”, Zelensky said in an evening video address on Telegram.

Pro-Moscow separatist authorities said the tank had “exploded” on territory controlled by Ukrainian forces.

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“At the Azot chemical plant, a container with chemicals was blown up. Preliminarily, it is nitric acid,” Rodion Mironchik, a representative of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, said on Telegram.

He said the territory of the plant was under Ukrainian control.

Ukrainian officials said on Tuesday that advancing Moscow forces now control most of Sievierodonetsk, a key goal for the Russian army.