Russia’s attempt to reopen the Azot chemical plant in the occupied Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk without the proper specialists is extremely dangerous due to the extensive destruction in the area surrounding the facilities, regional governor Serhiy Haidai said on Thursday.
Russians occupying the town sought to persuade local residents to work at the factory, Haidai said. Attempting to open a factory in violation of basic safety rules can lead to casualties and disasters, he added. He also said a water treatment center that once treated all the city’s sewage was destroyed.
The Ukrainian garrison defending Severodonetsk withdrew last month to retain its troops and avoid Russian encirclement. “There is no point in just being there, because every day the proportional death toll in unfortified territories might increase,” Haidai said at the time.
Severodonetsk was once home to 100,000 people, but only around 8,000 remain in the city, a Ukrainian official told local media this week. Many bodies remain unburied, including those of Russian servicemen, while electricity and water are scarce, the official said.
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