Second blast at Russia arms depot

At least eight Russian soldiers die during clean-up of site hit by fire 10 days ago.

    A fire at the arms depot left two emergency workers dead earlier this month [EPA/NATALIA MELNIK]

    The blast came hours after the regional emergency ministry branch warned residents that it was carrying out "planned detonation of unexploded shells" from the arms depot, promising that it was following "safety measures".

    Military investigators were sent to the city to establish the reason for Monday's blast, the regional military prosecutors told the Interfax news agency.

    Al Jazeera's Neave Barker, reporting from Moscow, said: "With this the second blast in as many weeks, there are going to be some serious questions asked in the upper echelons of the Kremlin, I imagine."

    Ageing equipment

    Russia's poorly trained and badly paid military has suffered a number of accidents with their ageing equipment in recent years.

    "These kinds of incidents have been happening sporadically over the last few years, but this is the third such incident in the last two months," Barker said.

    "Russia's armed forces haven't been significantly modernised since the Soviet Union, although President Medvedev called for a complete overhaul of the armed forces at the beginning of the year.

    "These changes, these attempts to modernise Russia's armed forces have been somewhat slow and quite clearly there a number of ageing installations and bases across the country.

    "This incident this afternoon can be directly attributed to the fact that Russia's armed forces need a major cash injection." 

    Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was scheduled to visit Ulyanovsk on Tuesday to meet Ilham Aliyev, his Azeri counterpart.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    John Pilger Q&A: 'US missiles are pointed at China'

    John Pilger Q&A: 'US missiles are pointed at China'

    Journalist John Pilger thinks the US and China might be on the path to war. "My film is a warning," he says.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Sadly but frankly, Donald Trump is not going anywhere

    Sadly but frankly, Donald Trump is not going anywhere

    Trump isn't going to be impeached by this or perhaps any future Congress as currently constituted.