Starting fires in ammunition supply depots is on the list of things to avoid. Starting fires in ammo depots which supply your occupation forces in a foreign country is definitely on the not-to-do list.
Yesterday, taking my usual spin around Google Earth, I noticed there had been a small fire at Russia’s vast supply depot at Russkoye. Built in Aug 2014, it supplies Russia’s forces in eastern Ukraine with ammunition and other military necessities. With hundreds of thousands, if not millions of wooden crates of ammunition all stacked out in the open, any fire has the potential for catastrophic consequences.
Fires relating to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are nothing new. April 2015 saw one engulf the large Russian base at Kuzminka (or Golovinka). On video, soldiers, tanks and vehicles can be seen trying to escape the exploding ammo inferno. (See video below).
Russkoye Depot 2015: Russian soldiers standing next to the wooden ammunition crates.
Ammo crates can be stored in the open because inside they have a sealed metal foil casing which contains the shells, rockets, grenades, bullets etc.
The below April 2018 satellite image of Russkoye reveals a cluster of burnt trees. With other trees and bushes all around, the extent of the fire could have been far worse.
Close up of the burnt area. The depots barracks are on the right, with the fenced off compound holding the ammunition crates just a few meters, away above the fire damaged area. In the bottom right hand corner of the burnt trees, there maybe either a vehicle or small structure which has also been burnt.
The trees before the fire.
My short video about the location and building of the Russkoye depot.
Video showing the fire at Kuzminka base fire. Like several others, this base was used as a hub for Russian army units which invaded Ukraine. Combat units would move to the base, pitch a camp and then enter Ukraine, either by train or road. With each carrying large quantities of ammunition and all camped close together, there was always a high fire risk, or ammo explosion.
My video on Kuzminka. With both Kuzminka and Golovinka villages next to the base, I plumbed for naming it Golovinka. This is one of my earlier videos, so it’s a little basic and includes some rather cheesy music. But on the plus side, it gives you an idea of the epic numbers of Russian military vehicles and troops which passed through it.
Location of Russkoye depot, near Ukraine’s border.
Kuzminka base is only 50km away from Ukraine’s eastern border. Until the 2014 invasion of Ukraine it was just another of Russia’s disused military bases.
Golovinka is located in Russia’s Rostov-on-Don Oblast (province) and close to the city bearing that name. Handily, it’s also close to the Russian rail line leading into Ukraine.