Update(1540ET): The death toll in the massive fire that broke out earlier in the day at a sensitive Russian Defense Ministry research facility in the city of Tver has risen to seven after emergency crews battled the Thursday blaze throughout the afternoon, state-run TASS reports.
The cause of the fire is still either unknown or not being disclosed by Russian state agencies at this point, but now more questions are being raised as another mysterious large blaze has erupted, this time at Russia's largest chemical plant, a mere hours after the fire in Tver - the latter which had engulfed a facility belonging to the secretive Central Research and Development Institute of Aerospace Defense Troops. UK media is reporting on the latest mystery fire, which marks the 2nd in the day, as follows:
Huge plumes of smoke were seen enveloping the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant late this afternoon. The cause of the fire remains unknown. Almost 150 plant workers were reportedly evacuated.
The facility in Kineshma, east of Moscow produces more industrial solvents than any other in Russia. It is less than 1,000km from the border with Ukraine.
🧵BREAKING: Russia - Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant burned down today on the outskirts of Moscow. This is the largest Russian manufacturer of chemical solvents. Located 250 miles EAST of Moscow. We are beginning to see a pattern develop. pic.twitter.com/537LLI2JR7— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) April 21, 2022
Naturally, observers are starting to ask in connection to Russia's war in neighboring Ukraine: coincidence? sabotage operation?
Anti-Putin racecar driver Igor Sushko in tweeting the above video of the Dmitrievsky Chemical Plant going up in flames commented: "We are beginning to see a pattern develop."
This fire occurred on the same day, today as this one:https://t.co/6xGfIEAwR3— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) April 21, 2022
And Western mainstream security analysts are also beginning to muse over whether active sabotage could be behind two large Russian facilities going up in flames in one day...
Interesting...— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) April 21, 2022
x2 major fires in #Russia today:
- Air & Space Force 2nd Research Institute (Tver, 180km NW of #Moscow. 7+ killed.
- Dmitrievsky chemical plant (Kineshma, 380km NE of #Moscow)
As we noted earlier in relation to the fire at the research facility in Tver, Russia has already been battling a string of forest fires - mostly in remote areas including in Siberia, thus the spread of these fires impacting government or industrial facilities is a possibility; however, there's been no word from Moscow authorities that the Thursday blazes are linked to this.
Adding to the mystery of the possibility of some kind of intelligence sabotage operation targeting these places, the now largely destroyed defense research facility was reportedly developing Russia's newest ballistic missile technology...
🚨A deadly fire in Russia on Thursday destroyed the building of a top-secret military research institute working to develop Russia's newest ballistic missiles https://t.co/a8N7w7MTc9— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) April 21, 2022
Interestingly, Ukraine's Defense Ministry tweeted out the following...
Corruption and irresponsibility in russia has dealt another insidious blow to its war efforts. In Tver, a research institute that develops russia’s Iskander missiles and systems for SU-27 and TU-160 bombers, which have been destroying peaceful Ukrainian cities, has burned down.— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 21, 2022
* * *
Russian media is reporting a large fire at a Russian Defense Ministry research facility in the city of Tver under mysterious circumstances. The site is about 110 miles northwest of Moscow.
There may have possibly been an explosion, given that RT reports two people killed and at least 20 injured, and with aerial footage showing a huge blaze and thick clouds of smoke over the area.
BREAKING: Massive Fire at #Russia’s Air-Space Defense Research Institute in Tver, 110 mile/180Km NW of Moscow.— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 21, 2022
RT reporting at least one killed and 16 injured. Cause unknown: pic.twitter.com/E2xCHEkuJR
Emergency and rescue personnel are on the scene. The upper floors of the building are said to belong to the government's Central Research and Development Institute of Aerospace Defense Troops.
"According to preliminary data, the blaze spanned across some thousand square meters and caused a partial collapse of the roof," Russian media reports.
"The fire had started in one of the rooms on the second floor of the administrative building."
There have been reports of an uptick in forest fires in various parts of Russia, but it's as yet unknown or unclear the cause behind Thursday's massive blaze.