Ukraine Day 321: National Guard Deployed In Odessa After Another Explosion

January 4, 2015
Ukrainian National Guard troops reportedly deploying in Odessa following an explosion at a rail yard |

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Explosion After Gasoline Leak At Railway in Odessa

A large fuel leak has shut down some of the railways in Odessa, and reports that Ukraine’s security services (SBU) believe that someone set explosives on the ruptured fuel tankers, causing the spill. No casualties were reported.

As a response to the explosion, which the SBU is calling a terrorist act, the national guard will be deployed to Odessa. The Russian news agency TASS has confirmed this, noting that this is the fifth reported terrorist attack in Odessa in just the last month:

Units of Ukraine’s National Guard have arrived in the city of Odessa for ensuring security in the Black Sea port, General Ivan Katerinchuk, chief of the regional police, said on Saturday.

“Over the past month alone, five terrorist attacks hit the city, with the latest one claiming a human life,” Katerinchuk explained adding that in line with the operation “suspicious persons will be stopped and checked, including inspection of personal belongings.”

While few people have been killed by terrorist attacks, there have been a series of explosions not just in Odessa but also Kharkiv in recent weeks. It’s not clear if these are all acts of terrorism, or if they are connected in any way, but the deployment of the national guard suggests that Ukrainian authorities are at least trying to make it look like they are taking these threats very seriously.

We have not seen pictures or videos of last night’s explosion, but this video, released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, reportedly shows the amount of fuel spilled at the rail depot: 

James Miller