Several Russian industrial plants have been destroyed by infernos since the war with Ukraine began in February, and it is a mystery why the flames are starting
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Russia has been hit by yet another chemical plant fire, after many have mysteriously burst into flames in recent months.
It is the latest in a series of infernos at wartime industrial plants in Ukraine that some experts may blame on sabotage.
Today’s fire was at a plastics factory in Berdsk in the Novosibirsk region, four time zones east of Moscow.
It was unclear if the plastics had defensive purposes.
Video shows thick black smoke billowing from the blaze amid reports the roof was destroyed and extensive damage was caused.
The fire apparently destroyed production facilities, offices and a canteen.
Nearly 50 firefighters worked at the scene, destroying approximately 22,000 square feet.
According to reports, the fire started in polyethylene products on the first floor of the building.
There were no reports of deaths.
Another fire occurred on May 4 in a railroad tanker containing unspecified solvents on the territory of the huge Caprolactam factory in Dzerzhinsk, which once produced chemical weapons.
A major fire on May Day killed three women at the explosives manufacturer Perm Gunpowder Plant, which supplies the army.
The plant manufactures Grad and Smerch multiple rocket systems used by Russian forces in Ukraine, as well as air defense systems and anti-tank shells.
It supplies gunpowder for small arms.
The Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant in Kineshma burned down on April 21.
This was the largest Russian manufacturer of chemical solvents used in a wide variety of industries, including defense equipment.
Another fire that has raised questions of sabotage occurred at a Russian missile design institute, killing 22 weapons officials and designers.
At least 13 staff at the Tver facility remain in hospital among 54 who were rescued from the wild blaze.
Another 98 were safely evacuated, and one is missing, presumed dead, after the April 21 fire at the Russian Aerospace Forces Central Research Institute
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This and other mysterious fires could be aimed at “disabling its weapons of mass destruction from brinkmanship,” says a US expert.
Professor Douglas London of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a 34-year-old retired CIA operations officer told Foreign Policy Journal that some recent incidents – including fires during oil shipments – may have been war-related sabotage.
“The US and allies’ facilitation of a Ukrainian sabotage campaign in Russia represents a significant and escalating price that Putin cannot afford,” he said.
Russia’s leading independent arms manufacturer urged Russian authorities to be more suspicious of sabotage in the face of the incendiary wave.
Vladislav Lobaev said: “The Dmitrievsky chemical plant in the city of Kineshma burned down.
“It is the largest Russian producer of chemical solvents used in a wide variety of industries….
“Separately, the building of the Defense Research Institute in Tver burned to the ground …
“It was at this institute that the Iskanders and the S-400 were developed.”
He warned: “It’s hard to believe in coincidences like this, especially with big or so iconic companies.
“In wartime it is necessary to work out the version of sabotage more actively.”