It is unlikely that Ukrainian drones were involved in the explosion at Votkinsk Machine Building Plant near Izhevsk, Russia, which produces missiles for Iskander systems, given that it is located 1,200 km from Ukraine, the UK Defense Ministry said in a report on X (Twitter) on Feb. 9.
There is a realistic possibility that the explosion is due to negligent handling and storing of highly volatile, combustible, and explosive materials, the intelligence said.
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Pressure from the Russian top leadership to increase military industrial output targets to support the war against Ukraine has likely led to round-the-clock production and staff fatigue, the report said.
“Increased demands on production will highly likely result in greater numbers of industrial accidents in the future,” the Defence Ministry said.
This is already at least the fifth “unexplained” military-industrial factory explosion in the past four months.
Previous explosions include the Kamensky Chemical Plant in Rostov-on-Don on Jan. 15, the Chelyabinsk Tank Factory on Nov. 26, 2023, and the gunpowder and ammunition factories in Kotovsk on Nov. 10 and Solikamsk on Oct. 31, 2023.
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A major explosion has occurred on the grounds of the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant, as seen in video footage widely shared by local social media accounts on Feb. 7.
This plant is used to produce several ballistic missiles, including for the Iskander missile system, which is regularly used against Ukraine.
Russia’s pro-Kremlin Telegram news channel Baza suggested that the explosion on the outskirts of Izhevsk might have been caused by supposed “technical testing” at the factory.
Later, Russian emergency services explained the explosion as “rocket engines being tested as planned” at the facility.
This is already the second explosion near the Votkinsk plant. The first explosion was reported on Aug. 4, 2023.
The plant also produces Russian missiles for the Topol-M and Tochka-U systems.
Read also: Explosions rock Belgorod as industrial plant hit — video
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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine