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Chechnya’s head links chemical tank blast with abduction of civilians in Severodonetsk

According to Ramzan Kadyrov, militants from the Aidar nationalist battalion could had brought some 300 civilians to the plant

GROZNY, June 1. /TASS/. Wednesday’s explosion of a container with chemicals at the Azot chemical plant in the city of Severodonetsk could have affected about 300 civilians earlier seized by Ukrainian militants, Chechnya’s head Ramzan Kadyrov wrote on Telegram.

"Security Aide to Chechnya’s head Apty Alaudinov was told by a prisoner that a couple of days ago, militants from the Aidar nationalist battalion had brought some 300 civilians to the plant. I assume that the militants intend to use them as human shields. The prisoner also said that boxes filled with explosives had been delivered there. According to him, this is where the blast could have occurred yesterday," Kadyrov said, adding that such developments were possible, given the methods that nationalists used.

The Lugansk People's Republic's Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik said earlier that a chemical tank had been blown up at the Azot plant, still controlled by the Ukrainian military. The LPR Defense Ministry rejected the Ukrainian media’s allegations that the LPR People’s Militia had been involved in the explosion.

Alaudinov said on Wednesday, citing a surrendered member of Ukraine’s 115th National Guard Brigade, that when leaving Severodonetsk three days ago, the nationalist battalion’s fighters had taken about 300 civilians with them.