Massive Explosion Reported at Russian Nuclear Missile Plant

( – A massive explosion was reported at a weapons plant that produces ballistic missiles and components of nuclear weapons in Russia’s Udmurt Republic. On social media, residents shared dozens of videos of the incident, which took place at the Votkinsk weapons factory, 30 miles from Udmurt Republic’s capital city, Izhevsk.

According to some reports, the weapons factory is one of the most important in Russia as it produces some of the main components of the country’s nuclear weapons and even the RS-24 Yars intercontinental ballistic missile. The Kyiv Post reported that the Votkins factory also produces strategic missiles for Russia’s Iskander and Topol-M systems.

The blast was initially reported by Russia’s state-run news agency Tass, which stated that an emergency services agency in the Udmurt Republic announced that the explosion happened during a rocket engine test. Tass also said that the agency explained that it was all a “planned event” instead of an emergency.

According to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report, experts believe that the emergency services agency could have been lying, as there wasn’t any mention of a scheduled test on the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations’ website.

Independent Russian media outlet Mediazona also reported that a couple of minutes after the explosion, the agency published a statement saying that the Ministry of Emergency Situations didn’t confirm any “powerful explosion.” Mediazone added that the message was deleted ten minutes later, noting that the ministry published a statement a half-hour later where it said there wasn’t any “emergency” or abnormal situation in the Udmurt Republic.

While a massive fire broke out at the factory after the explosion, it remains unclear if there were injuries or casualties. Russia’s Defense Ministry hasn’t responded to several questions about the incident delivered by some media outlets. Most of the weapons produced in the Votkins factory have been used by the Russian armed forces in the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which started in February 2022.

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