Natalya Nikonorova, the foreign minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), a quasi-state in Ukraine, claims that a major explosion on 11 September 2021 at an oil terminal in Donetsk was a ‘deliberate act of terror’ by Ukraine.
The blast happened at around 12.30pm local time, according to Russian news agency TASS, destroying 1,300 tonnes of oil. The fire was tackled by local emergency services. DPR first deputy information minister Daniil Beznosov said that Ukrainian drones were spotted near the terminal before the explosion, and staff were evacuated, TASS reports. Beznosov claims one of the drones dropped an explosive charge.
‘The Ukrainian side committed a deliberate act of terror, aimed not only at inflicting damage to enterprises and infrastructure of the republic, but also at harming civilians, because a blast and an explosion in the Donetsk area pose a serious threat to civilians nearby,’ TASS reports Nikonorova as saying.
The DPR claimed independence from Ukraine in May 2014 after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, along with the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Republic of Crimea. The three quasi-states are internationally unrecognised and there is ongoing armed conflict with Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government has not commented on the allegations.