Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 08.09.2018
The ecological disaster caused by the Russians in occupied Crimea is now so vast that the damage has spread to Kherson region in free Ukraine. The levels of sulphur trioxide in the air and on the ground is off the scale – well beyond tolerable levels for health in a wide area around the “Crimean Titan” chemical plant in Armyansk, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied).
An environmental catastrophe is unfolding in the heart of Europe, and the world’s press is barely paying any attention. It has been over two weeks since the toxic contamination began. The parallels with Chernobyl in 1986 are unmistakable but it appears that no lessons were learned from that precedent. An occupation regime of Ukraine from Muscovy is causing harm to the environment and to human beings by its negligence – this is happening in Armyansk as it happened in Chernobyl.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 20 February 2014. Subsequent to the invasion, the Putin regime illegally seized the “Crimean Titan” chemical plant in Armyansk in northern Crimea. Because the Muscovites refuse to provide an adequate water supply to the occupied territory, a severe drought is affecting most of Ukraine’s southern peninsula. In the summer of 2018, an acid retaining pond at the “Crimean Tatar” plant dried up. Without water, a fog of sulphur trioxide was spread over a wide, populated area. This was first detected on August 23. Local people started to suffer – sulphur trioxide causes rashes and affects the respiratory system. The sulphuric acid produced when sulphur trioxide mixes with water is causing rust on metal in a increasingly wide area around the epicentre of the disaster.
37 Ukrainian border guards sought medical attention because of the toxic contamination coming from Armyansk. On September 7, a team of doctors from the Odesa Clinical Hospital of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine examined the servicemen at the frontier with Russian-occupied Ukrainian Crimea, and determined that five out of the 37 required further treatment.
On September 6, the checkpoints “Kalanchak” and “Chaplinka” near Armyansk, Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied) temporarily suspended work because of the ecological disaster.
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine went to Kherson region in free Ukraine to see the effects of the contamination from the “Crimean Titan” plant. The OSCE SMM stated in its daily observation report of September 7 that its team members saw border guards wearing surgical masks and “noted a distinctive noxious smell” at the “Kalanchak” crossing and in the area surrounding Preobrazhenka. The OSCE SMM does not go to Crimea, and thus fails to carry out its mission throughout Ukraine.
The nominal head of the Russian occupation regime in Crimea, the gangster Sergey “The Goblin” Aksyonov, falsely stated that the “Crimean Titan” plant had stopped working because of the unfolding ecological disaster. The head of the Kherson Regional State Administration, Andriy Gordeyev, stated on September 7 that the plant in Armyansk was “still working.” The illegal Crimean ‘administration’ stopped publishing data on harmful substance in the air for Armyansk and for the Dzhankoy and Krasnoperekpsk districts that are affected by the ecological disaster.
On the evening of September 6, the Kherson regional administration decided to evacuate children and pregnant women from Kalanchatsky and Chaplinsky districts that are contaminated by toxic substances from the Russian-occupied zone. The Presidential administration in Kyiv and Kherson region also announced that they were ready to take in children who are victims of the “Crimean Titan” plant disaster from the Crimean settlements, in order to provide medical and rehabilitation assistance to them. Unfortunately, the Russian occupation regime has already taken the children of Armyansk and Perekop and thrust them further into drought-afflicted Crimea, spurning the offer from free Ukraine.
Russian media is silent about the Armyansk ecological disaster. This is unsurprising because it is only through the deliberate negligence of Putin’s occupation regime that the captive population of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea is suffering. What is inexplicable is the silence of Western news organizations about the massive toxic chemical contamination in northern Crimea. Armyansk is another Chernobyl. Once again, Moscow at first denies there is any problem. Once again, Moscow falls silent about the damage to the environment and to human beings it is causing when the large scale of the disaster becomes undeniable.
During the Chernobyl disaster, Ukrainians under Muscovy occupation were made to participate in May Day celebrations. During the Armyansk disaster, Ukrainians under Muscovy occupation have been made to participate in special assemblies for the first day of school. The criminal occupation of Ukraine by foreigners from Muscovy under Putin is as pernicious an evil as the criminal occupation of Ukraine by foreigners from Muscovy under the Bolsheviks.
The Putin regime should accept the offer made by the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, to take in Armyansk children affected by the ecological catastrophe at the “Crimean Tatar” plant. The Ukrainians are ready. It’s up to the occupation authorities in Crimea to do the right thing and save the health of people under their care.