LUGANSK, June 18. /TASS/. A powerful explosion has ripped through Severodonetsk in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), with a pink mushroom cloud visible from afar, the Lugansk news agency said on Saturday.
The agency released a video that shows a pink-colored mushroom cloud rising into the sky. The explosion site is reportedly located "near Severodonetsk."
LPR Ambassador to Russia Rodion Miroshnik wrote on his Telegram channel commenting on the video that "the mushroom cloud is evidently of chemical origin." Miroshnik says that "its color looks like that of a mushroom cloud emerging after the explosion of a nitric acid tank, but this has not been verified yet." Miroshnik added that the video was shot from near Popasnaya, which is about 30 kilometers south of Severodonetsk.
It was reported earlier that Ukrainian armed units, which might have up to 2,500 troops, with up to 25% of foreign mercenaries among them, were holed up in Severodonetsk’s industrial area. Vitaly Kiselev, an aide to the LPR Interior Minister, said that up to 1,200 civilians had been taken hostage, and were held in the Azot chemical plant.