Information about the explosions near Kharkov appeared in the afternoon. Following panic messages in social networks about Amateur videos nearby witnesses, local authorities and representatives of civil service on emergency situations has tried to reassure residents. In their initial review was that the area of the military warehouse in Balakleya there were some local explosions. The unit promptly arrived employees of law enforcement agencies and rescue workers, and government representatives. Initially it was reported that an explosion of munitions occurred in their clearance, it was clarified that the injured sapper. However, further consequences of state of emergency said, for the moment, the General staff of the Armed forces of Ukraine (AFU) says about two dead and five wounded — all of them are military engineers. The incident was the reaction and the authorities. Newly appointed Kharkiv Governor Alexey Kucher personally came to the scene to reassure residents that the situation in Balakleya localized and this time will do without serious consequences. Did not go unnoticed this incident and in Parliament, where the speaker Dmitry Razumov directly during the next plenary session invited members of the defense Committee to convene an emergency meeting in connection with the bombings.
Something went wrong The next day there was a detailed account of the facts of the incident and the first version of the story. So, the General staff suggested that the explosions occurred when loading ammunition, prepared for recycling, i.e. artificial detonation in a specially designated place in compliance with all safety regulations.
Presumably, at 14:28 (15:28 MSK) ignited a solid fuel rocket engine to self-propelled anti-aircraft missile complex (ZRK) “the Cube”, the first modification which was developed in the middle of the last century in the Soviet Union.
Interestingly, in 2010, the Ministry of defense of Ukraine took a decision to remove the Cube from the weapons, to conserve all the existing installation. However, after 9 years, in February of this year, then-chief of staff armed forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko announced the return of the Soviet “Cubes” for combat duty.
The reason for this step is simple — a banal saving. The fact is that at military depots of the country, including in the ill-fated Balakliya, has preserved so many missiles for the SAM, which was slightly easier to refurbish the complex and again to roll out “Cuba” on the position, than to bother and spend money on new ones. Plus, in the ranks of the Ukrainian army continues to be many of those who worked with this complex, so it is possible to save on personnel training.
It is the fuel of the missiles for the SAM, presumably, and “flashed” on the eve of the Kharkiv region, adding another tragic Chapter in a long list of such incidents in recent years.Chronicle of the exploding Ukraine
The current state of emergency in Kharkov — it is far not the largest in scale, however, one of the worst for number of losses in the army in such cases are called “non-combat”. Only in the last five years postmaydannoy this is the eighth such incident.
The first major state of emergency at a military Arsenal during this time have occurred in 2015 in the Luhansk region, where in the three days saw a warehouse with three thousand of ammunition. Three soldiers and one local resident were killed. Two years later, Ukraine literally shook three large-scale accidents with ammunition in Donetsk (Novoyanysol’), Vinnytsya (Kalynivka) and Kharkiv (balakliia) regions.
Especially got then Kalinovka, where the fire destroyed about 30% of all in stock ammunition, and the loss in monetary terms, independent experts have estimated at $ 600 million. Thus, for several days together with the smoke from the burning ammunition and military equipment in the air dissipated a quarter of the annual defence budget.
As for Blakley, then, in 2017, the result of the detonation and fire killed two people, all the surrounding population — and it is nearly more than 30 thousand people were evacuated.
It is noteworthy that the events at Kharkov frighteningly quickly, just after a year, again again fire, again the detonation of shells. Then uncontrolled explosions began when conducting demining scattered around the shells from the previous emergency.
And finally, the last such case occurred almost exactly a year ago in Ichnia in Chernihiv region. Again the explosions at the military Arsenal, again evacuated, destroyed infrastructure, massive damage and long work on elimination of consequences.
In search of a hand of Moscow
In the previous section have deliberately not addressed the issue of the causes of all these accidents, which, however, is critical to understanding the contemporary situation of the Ukrainian army and to prevent similar tragedies in the future.
Today official representatives in Ukraine talking about the only version of the latest explosions in balakliia — work in mine, most likely it can talk about security breaches.
However, it was not always. The Ukrainian defense Ministry in any did not want to admit their own mistakes, and prevails in the society against the victorious Euromaidan and the conflict in the Donbas anti-Russian hysteria was unleashed for cheating on “the Kremlin intrigues” of all his sins and abuses. Which, even limited to only exploring open sources, apparently, there is not enough.As an example, you can take the same events in Balakleya two years ago, for example, Kalinovka. In both cases, not bothering to search for the real causes of the tragedies, the military prosecutors and investigators almost immediately said about some sabotage allegedly occurred on these arsenals. Of course, “demolition” were agents of Russian secret services, which are supposed to these actions in trying to weaken the military potential of the armed forces. In this case, despite such peremptory, in any case, the public did not see any significant evidence of this hypothesis.
In conditions of overwhelming corruption, sloppiness and theft in contemporary Ukraine more real is the banal version of covering up the traces, when the command does not cost anything to put on the air a whole Arsenal full of weapons, thereby securing themselves from the checks and possible criminal cases for embezzlement and resale of government property.
Conspiracy theories about secret agents of Moscow was at the time convenient for the regime of Petro Poroshenko, which largely was based on Russophobia and the opposition of Russia. They were acceptable for the Ukrainian special services, which for this case knocked out his funding, and the result is substituted for the real consequence of theories about the Russian drones, dropping bombs in the arsenals of the armed forces.
Today the new authorities in the face of Vladimir Zelensky have the chance to finally seriously deal with the real causes of the now annual PE in army warehouses, to finally stop these senseless human, financial and reputational loss.
However, doubts remain that it will eventually happen. The recent remark of the Minister of defense of Ukraine Andrei Zagorodnyuk about Russia as the enemy with whom you need to speak the language of military force indicates that such thinking is still entrenched in the local political and military elites. And, then, in case of failure, the topic of the “Russian threat” can re-manifest in the light. Another question, will the Ukrainian society again believe her.Pavel Kotov