Terrifying acid cloud looms over Ukraine after Russian airstrike – VIDEO

Russian airstrike hits silo with nitric acid at Severodonetsk chemical plant

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Local governor Serhiy Gaidai in the frontline city of Sievierodonetsk warned local residents not to leave bomb shelters due to the risk posed by toxic fumes from the acid tank. Footage shared on the Telegram app showed a mushroom cloud of pink gas could be seen over apartment buildings. Nitric acid can cause severe burns, scarring, and cuts when in contact with skin or pulmonary edema, which can be fatal when inhaled.

Russian forces on Wednesday pressed closer to the centre of an industrial city in a drive to grab a swathe of eastern Ukraine, while the United States said it would supply advanced rockets to Kyiv to help push Moscow to negotiate an end to the war.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces, now 98 days into their invasion, pounded infrastructure in eastern and southern regions, including the city of Sievierodonetsk, which they entered on May 27 and is the main focus of their ground offensive in the eastern Donbas region.

US President Joe Biden said Washington would supply precision rocket systems and munitions as part of a $700 million weapons package expected to be formally announced on Wednesday.

“We have moved quickly to send Ukraine a significant amount of weaponry and ammunition so it can fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table,” Biden wrote in the New York Times.

A Biden administration official said the new supplies – which comes on top of billions of dollars worth of equipment such as drones and anti-aircraft missiles – included the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), which Kyiv has said is “crucial” to counter Russian missile attacks.

Addressing concerns that such weapons could draw the United States into direct conflict, Jonathan Finer, deputy White House national security adviser, said Washington had asked Ukraine for assurances the missiles would not strike inside Russia.

Russia, however, warned of an increased risk of direct confrontation with the United States.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking in Saudi Arabia, said the supply of the rocket launchers to Ukraine raised the risks of a “third country” being dragged into the conflict.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such supplies would not encourage Ukraine’s leadership to resume stalled peace talks.

“We believe that the United States is purposefully and diligently adding fuel to the fire,” Peskov said.

Shortly after the US decision was announced, the Russian defence ministry said Russia’s nuclear forces were holding drills in the Ivanovo province, northeast of Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported. The report did not mention the US decision.

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Russia has also completed testing its hypersonic Zircon cruise missile and will deploy it by the end of the year on a new frigate of its Northern Fleet, a senior military officer said on Wednesday.

Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian forces continued to pound northern, southern, and eastern districts of Sievierodonetsk.

If Russia captures the city and its smaller twin Lysychansk on the west bank of the Siverskyi Donets river, it will hold all of Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas that Moscow claims on behalf of separatists and a key war aim of President Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian forces now control just 20 percent of Sievierodonetsk, Russian forces 60 percent and the rest has become a “no-man’s land”, Oleksandr Stryuk, the Ukrainian head of the city administration, told Reuters.

“The 20 percent is being fiercely defended by our armed forces…

Attempts are being made to drive out the Russian troops… We have hope that despite everything we will free the city…,” Stryuk said.

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