Sabotage in Balakliya ammo depot in 2017 was carried out by combat drone – Matios
The sabotage at the 65th Artillery Base in Balakliya (Kharkiv region) last March, according to the main version of the investigation, was carried out with the aid of a combat unmanned aerial vehicle, chief military prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios has said.
"The main version consists in applying a combat unmanned vehicle that arrived from abroad [i.e. from the territory of the Russian Federation], bombed and returned back," Matios said in the "Subject of the Day" program on OTB TV channel on Thursday night.
"According to the data that the investigation has at its disposal, the model of this unmanned vehicle was demonstrated at the parade of the Russian Armed Forces on Red Square literally in May," he added.
Speaking about the explosions on the same arsenal on May 3 of the current year, Matios said that the expertise that should establish their cause (violation of demining technology, human factor, the weather) is not over yet.
As reported, explosions at ammunition storage depots near Balakliya, Kharkiv region, began on March 23, 2017. The blasts damaged 117 multi-storey residential buildings, 229 private households, two schools, two kindergartens, eight social facilities, as well as 22 infrastructure and industry facilities. About 20,000 people were evacuated. Ninety-three families were left homeless. The blasts killed one woman, and three other people were injured. One more victim later died in hospital.
As reported, dry grass caught fire at the former artillery depot operated by military unit A1352 near Balakliya at about 14:00 on May 3. The evacuation of the whole town was not carried out. According to the police, no one was injured in the fire.
Firefighting teams of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the State Emergency Service managed to contain the main sources of the fire. There was a marked decrease in the area covered by smoke and flames.
Criminal proceedings were started on the fact of the fire under Part 3 of Article 425 [negligent attitude to military service in conditions of a special period, except for the martial law] of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Investigation is conducted by the police. The military prosecutor's office of the Kharkiv garrison exercises procedural guidance.