'Explosion' Sparks Huge Fire at Russian Defense Facility in Siberia

‘Explosion’ Sparks Huge Fire at Russian Defense Facility in Siberia

A huge fire has broken out at the Uralmash factory, a Russian defense facility in the city of Yekaterinburg, state-run media reported on Monday.

Pro-Ukrainian Eastern European news outlet Nexta quoted an eyewitness as saying that there was an “explosion”, and then “black smoke appeared.”

Other Telegram channels shared photos and videos of the smoke and fire at the facility in Siberia.

The press service of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations was cited by state-run news agency Interfax as saying that the area of the fire has increased to 4,000 square meters. An update published later noted that the blaze had been contained to an area of 4,500 square meters.

The ContextThere have been a string of mysterious fires in Russia since President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Ukraine rarely claims responsibility for strikes on Russian soil.

What We Know
Videos and photos circulating on social media showed huge plumes of black smoke rising over the factory—one of Russia’s largest manufacturing plants, which serves the country’s military-industrial sector.

“A large fire at Uralmashzavod in Russian Yekaterinburg—Russian media,” said Anton Gerashchenko, a former adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, sharing footage of the blaze on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Uralmashzavod is a machine-building enterprise in Yekaterinburg, Russia. It is involved in Russian defense industry,” he said.

The facility, located on Mashinostroiteley Street, manufactures equipment for energy facilities including nuclear power plants, as well as for mining, metal works, and the cement industry, according to Reuters.

Uralmashzavod management has said that while the building that caught fire is located on the factory’s territory, it does not belong to the company and is located “far from our production facilities.”

The cause of the fire remains unclear. There have been no reports of casualties. Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Foreign Ministry for comment by email.

A drone is being used to assist emergency services as heavy smoke “complicates” their work, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.

“The fire has been localized. Fifteen oxygen cylinders and two propane cylinders have been evacuated from the workshop,” the press service of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said.

A huge fire has broken out a Russian defense-linked facility in the city of Yekaterinburg, state-run media reported on Monday.

TruexaNews/Telegram screengrab by Newsweek
ViewsMaria Drutska, who works in Ukrainian foreign affairs, published two videos of the fire, saying on X that the site of the burning building “is a large engineering enterprise, a manufacturer of equipment for metallurgy, mining, and energy industries.”

“During the wartime, it can also be reprofiled for the production of military products,” she said.

What’s NextThe press service of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations said 52 people and 17 pieces of equipment are currently involved in extinguishing the blaze.

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