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Sabotage and Spetsnatz threaten Ukraine

Kalynivka depot explosion. (Photo: REUTERS)

As the night fell, a large Ukrainian armed forces ammunition storage was engulfed in flames at Kalynivka. The fires spread rapidly across the facility that contained 188,000 tons of munitions. Luckily most of the compartmentalization features, such as bunkers and steel walls have managed to limit the damage to about 30 % of the munitions stored there.

This is the third ammunitions dump fire in Ukraine recently. All of these have been active facilities that are storing relevant and modern munitions and all have been feeding the Ukrainian Army units defending Ukraine against the Russian aggression. These are not some half-derelict old depots, looked after by the washouts the military wants to hide from sight.

The Ukrainian security service has claimed that the previous fires/explosions were Russian sabotage operations. The Balakliya dump was claimed to have ignited by an explosive device dropped from a Russian drone. Similar claims have already surfaced from the latest explosion.

The SBU’s chief made a statement earlier that the Russian intelligence services are conducting a sabotage and terror campaign within Ukraine. He directly blamed that Russia was involved in several assassinations and attacks.

Members of the 22nd Spetsnatz Brigade

Interestingly Russia activated several military units right before the ammo dump exploded and at least the 22nd Spetsnatz brigade was activated immediately after the incident. 22nd Brigade has been active in clandestine operations since the Soviet era and it's a unit likely to be sent to operate in Donbass. Some sources claim that the unit is training expendable volunteers that are special forces in name only.

Other noteworthy unit that was moved close to the Ukrainian border, was a battalion of the 42nd motor rifle division stationed near Grozny in Chechnya. The Chechen formations have been used both in Donbass and in Syria. Most attack and special operations helicopter formations in the region are also currently conducting nigh operations training.
Ukrainian Army might soon run low on heavy munitions. (Photo: AFP / Sergei Supinsky)

While there isn’t a real invasion force in place that could immediately threaten the survival of Ukraine, but many of these elements could be used to escalate the situation in Donbass and drain the dwindling ammunition stocks of the defenders.

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