Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 15.09.2018
The “Crimean Titan” plant at Armyansk, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied) released more toxic chemicals into the atmosphere late on September 13. The acid release is reportedly more damaging to human health and to the environment than the one which occurred on August 23. An ecological catastrophe is unfolding in the heart of Europe and the world is ignoring it. It is being ignored for political and not scientific reasons, mostly because it is happening in a part of Europe that has been invaded and occupied by the Russian Federation – Putin’s War is something appeasing Europe would rather ignore.
The Armyansk chemical plant produces titanium dioxide and other compounds. It was illegally seized by the Russian invaders of Europe in Ukraine in March 2014. On August 23 a toxic fog of sulphur trioxide engulfed Amyansk and the surrounding area. A greasy yellow mud landed on people and caked to every surface, containing sulphuric acid among other toxins. The cause of the emission was believed to be the drying up of an acid retaining pond.
An illegitimate occupation regime from Moscow holds the land and people of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in captivity. The figurehead of this regime, the gangster Sergey “The Goblin” Aksyonov (an individual under Western sanctions), claimed that the August 23 release was not dangerous to human health but that the “Crimean Titan” plant would shut down as a precaution. He lied on both counts. Many people sought medical treatment in Russian-occupied northern Crimea and also in southern Kherson region in free Ukraine. The chemical plant kept right on working.
Late on September 13, a release of toxic chemicals from the Armyansk plant put concentrations in the air more than five times above maximum tolerable levels for human health. With accurate reports of the scale of the ecological disaster coming from free Ukraine, the illegitimate occupation regime in Crimea from Moscow admitted there was a problem. A so-called ‘official’ of the regime claimed that an “emergency regime” would be introduced on September 14, but he did not say that the “Crimean Titan” plant would be shut down or that local residents would be evacuated for health and safety.
Ukrainian citizens under Russian occupation who are affected by the ecological catastrophe are evacuating anyway. At least 59 people crossed the de facto administrative border into free Ukraine. Ukraine offered to rescue the children of northern Crimea and is ready to receive them in Kherson reason. It is believed, though, that Putin’s brutal occupation regime is engaging only a partial evacuation of children, and is sending them deeper into drought-stricken Crimea instead of accepting the Ukrainian offer.
With a second and more harmful release of toxic chemicals, it now seems unlikely that the lack of water in an acid retaining pond is the cause. The plant itself is the source of the massive contamination. Some reports say that the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation damaged acid tanks at the “Crimean Titan” plant with shellfire during training exercises.
The ecological catastrophe at Armyansk, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied) is getting worse. It is comparable to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986: as then, a criminal occupation regime in Ukraine from Moscow is lying about the scale of the harm to human beings and to the environment, being cause by its negligence. The Free World has to get over its fear of confronting Russia’s war of imperialist aggression against Ukraine, to deal with the ecological catastrophe in Armyansk that is one of its consequences.