Toxic cloud billows over eastern Ukraine town after Russians 'hit nitric acid store'

1 June 2022, 14:26 | Updated: 1 June 2022, 14:39

An orange mushroom cloud has been filmed rising over Azot fertiliser factory in Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine.
An orange mushroom cloud has been filmed rising over Azot fertiliser factory in Severodonetsk in eastern Ukraine. Picture: Twitter

By Lauren Lewis

An acid mushroom cloud has been filmed billowing in the sky over a town in eastern Ukraine after Russian forces 'hit a nitric acid storage facility'.

Footage said to have been filmed from Ukrainian defensive positions near the Azot fertiliser factory in Severodonetsk shows the orange cloud rising in the distance.

It is thought the cloud was released this morning after a nitric acid storage facility at the fertiliser factory was hit by Russian artillery fire, though this was not confirmed.

Video shows Ukrainian soldiers watching the cloud rise in the distance from what appears to be trenches.

Ukrainian authorities have warned residents of Severodonetsk to remain indoors and keep windows closed as it is thought the cloud contains toxic fumes.

Nitric acid can cause severe burns, scarring and cuts when in contact with skin or pulmonary edema, which can be fatal, when inhaled.

Read more: Denmark votes in referendum on EU defence amid Ukraine war

Regional Governor of Luhansk province Serhiy Hayday told Sky News on Tuesday that Russian forces were in control of more than 70 per cent of the city with heavy fighting for complete control ongoing elsewhere.

But he warned he believes "there is no sense in losing a lot of soldiers to recapture the city which has no strategic military sense".

"In a military sense the city doesn't matter because for example the neighbouring city of Lysychansk has more high ground and the military will have better positions.

"We've restrained the Russian army for more than three months, it must be understood, and they sent all their troops to capture the Luhansk region.

"The longer we resist, then the more we get foreign weapons, rearm the troops and then we can at least to stop the Russian army, later even counterattack."

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin could attack nearby Lysychansk after capturing sister city Severodonetsk.

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin could attack nearby Lysychansk after capturing sister city Severodonetsk.
Ukrainian officials have repeatedly warned Russian President Vladimir Putin could attack nearby Lysychansk after capturing sister city Severodonetsk. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Biden says US sending medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine

It comes a day after President Joe Biden announced the US would send a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems to Ukraine to aid its forces as they struggle to stall Russian progress in the Donbas region.

The rocket systems are part of a new 700 million dollar (£553 million) tranche of security assistance for Ukraine from the US that will include helicopters, Javelin anti-tank weapon systems, tactical vehicles, spare parts and more, according to two senior administration officials.

The US decision to provide the advance rocket systems tries to strike a balance between the desire to help Ukraine battle ferocious Russian artillery barrages while not providing arms that could allow Ukraine to hit targets deep inside Russia and trigger an escalation in the war.

The Ukrainians have assured US officials that they will not fire rockets into Russian territory, according to the senior administration officials.

One official noted that the advanced rocket systems will give Ukrainian forces greater precision in targeting Russian assets inside Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday that the US is “deliberately and diligently pouring fuel on the fire”.

He added that the Kremlin does not trust Kyiv’s assurances that the multiple rocket launch systems supplied by the US will not be used to attack Russia.

“In order to trust (someone), you need to have experience with situations when such promises were kept. Regretfully, there is no such experience whatsoever,” Mr Peskov said.

The expectation is that Ukraine could use the rockets in the eastern Donbas region, where they could both intercept Russian artillery and take out Russian positions in towns where fighting is intense, such as Severodonetsk.

Read more: Sanctioned Russian oligarch’s megayacht hides in a UAE creek

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Wayne Couzens who raped and murdered Sarah Everard

Police forces to overhaul how they deal with officers caught flashing after damning Wayne Couzens report

The current discussions on MP safety need to be expanded to candidates too

'We must take action now': The current discussions on MP safety need to be expanded to candidates too

Pakistan Politics

Khan supporters protest as lawmakers take oath in Pakistan parliament

Ultra-processed foods have been linked to a wide range of negative health outcomes including early death

Ultra-processed food linked to 32 different health problems including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and early death

Rust incident

Production manager testifies about Alec Baldwin shooting in 2021 Rust rehearsal

Playwright Jeremy O’Harris has defended the 'black only' nights

‘Black people have been told they don’t belong at the theatre’: Playwright defends ‘black-only’ nights at West End show

Christian Horner has been cleared of inappropriate behaviour

Geri Halliwell 'relieved and elated' after F1 boss husband Christian Horner is cleared after Red Bull investigation

Dame Esther said she was "disappointed" at no clear call for a vote on assisted dying

‘The law is a mess’: Dame Esther Rantzen issues fresh call for free vote on assisted dying

Canada Gaza Strip Aid

Canada says it is working to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip as soon as possible

Mark Feehily announced he's temporarily stepping away from the band amid health struggles.

Westlife star Mark Feehily reveals he’s standing down from the band just days before US tour leaving fans devastated

The Duke of Sussex took legal action against the Home Office over a decision in 2020 to change the level of his personal security

Prince Harry faces £1m bill after losing High Court challenge over taxpayer funded police protection

Rishi Sunak has warned 'mob rule' is threatening to 'replace democratic rule'.

End descent into ‘mob rule’ and shut down intimidating protests, Rishi Sunak tells police amid threats to MPs

Biden

President Joe Biden declared ‘fit for duty’ after annual medical test

Thomas Kingston died aged 45.

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston 'died at his parents' £3m country mansion'

Capitol

Supreme Court to rule if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

Richard Lewis has died aged 76.

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis dies aged 76 after suffering heart attack