At least 21 dead in fires and explosions linked to nuclear energy and the development of new weapons
In a short time, at least 21 military and scientists have died in accidents that are reported to be linked to the development of new weapons in Russia. Following the latest incident, August 8, radiation levels rose sharply in the area around a city of 200,000 inhabitants, 75 km away from the Swedish border with Finland.
The list of Russian military casualties this summer can be made long and the death toll is growing every day.
On July 1, 14 soldiers were killed in the nuclear-powered mini-boat Losharik, when a fire broke out on board when the submarine was on a mission in the Barents Sea. The submarine was powered by a nuclear reactor.
A few weeks later, around August 5 and 9, at least 40 people were injured in multiple weapons explosions in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia. 16,000 people were evacuated.
Several explosions occurred on a military base near the city of Achinsk in the Krasnoyarsk region. Photo August 5, 2019. Photo: OSA / AFP
And on August 8, a fire with subsequent explosion occurred in connection with a robotic test on a "sea-based platform" at a secret military testing facility near the city of Severodvinsk, according to state-controlled news agency Tass.
According to Russian data, seven people were killed and seven are seriously injured - both military and scientists.
The scientists who perished worked at the state Rosatom, which is responsible for everything that has to do with nuclear technology. So in addition to everything about nuclear power plants, Rosatom is also responsible for developing nuclear warheads for the Ministry of Defense.
This means that at the three crashes, at least 21 people were killed and at least 47 injured. Common to the accidents is that Russian authorities have published very little information that has subsequently been changed.
Three submarines in the naval base Severodvinsk. The picture indicates that the hatches for the robots are open on the submarine in the lower left corner. Photo: Google Earth August 18, 2019 Elevated radiation levels
Following the recent crash on August 8, radiation levels have risen sharply in the Russian city of Severodvinsk, where it has nearly 200,000 inhabitants. The city is dominated by a naval base and a shipyard that manufactures nuclear submarines with nuclear weapons, among others.
According to Russia's weather institute, radiation levels of between 4 and 16 times the normal were recorded after the accident at the secret test facility in Njonoksa near Severodvinsk, the state-controlled Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday.
It is about 75 km between Swedish Haparanda and Severodvinsk.
The failed test must have been performed at Njonoksa near the town of Severodvinsk on August 8. Photo: SVT Design FOI expert critical of Trump's tweet
According to US President Donald Trump, Russia tested the cruise robot SSC-X-9 Skyfall, which Russia calls Burevestnik. He tweeted the task on Monday following an article in the New York Times.
Fredrik Westerlund, research leader at the Swedish Defense Forces Research Institute (FOI) and expert on Russian military strategy and nuclear weapons issues, says that such a conclusion should be taken with caution.
- There is too little information on what has been tested. We would need more information from Russia. What I see in the New York Times article is that they say they "suspect". It's not the same as knowing.