Stuff Happens

In the last week, Russia has seen three serious fires and a burst dam. We need to be careful in seeing a pattern.

Seven died and a number of others were injured in the Aerospace Defense Research Institute near Moscow.

The Dmietrievsky chemical plant in Kineshma, 335 kilometers northeast of Moscow, was a major producer of industrial solvents.

The Russian Rocket and Spacecraft Scientific Center in Korolyov, Moscow Oblast

And a dam failed at a hydroelectric facility near Krasnodar. I am vaguely recalling another dam failure from a couple of weeks ago. The information on this failure is minimal.

Before jumping to conclusions, consider that Russia is a large place. Stuff happens. Infrastructure is maintained poorly. It’s possible that people are paying more attention to events like this than they were three months ago. Statistics tell us that random events can occur in clumps.

All of these are too far from Ukraine to be likely sabotage by Ukraine.

Paul Goble has been reporting for the past couple of years on continuing phoned-in bomb threats across Russia that have disrupted schools, shopping malls, and other public spaces. The perpetrators have not been identified. More evidence of resistance? Who knows?

The speculation, of course, is that an anti-Putin resistance may be forming. We’d all like to see that, but that desire is also the reason we might jump to the wrong conclusion. Wait for more information.

Top photo: Dmitrievsky chemical plant

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money


  1. Sev · April 26, 2022

    And now, an ammunition depot near Belgorod.

    To be sure, this is probably in a different category than the other events a good deal further from the border.


    • Sev · April 26, 2022

      Two other things.

      1) Is there anything to be said about the stability of munitions, particularly high explosives and solid rocket propellants that have been in long term storage?

      I would imagine that reaching back to Soviet stocks manufactured originally in the 70s and 80s – here probably artillery might have consequences, especially if they have not been stored correctly. I recall there were some issues with long term stability of conventional explosives in certain nuclear warheads in the past.

      2) Are the products made by that solvent plant that had the accident in any way relevant to manufacture of solid rocket propellant?


    • Cheryl Rofer · April 27, 2022

      1) Russia seems to have ammunition storage facilities blow up every summer. So yes, poor storage practices can cause that.

      2) I have seen various reports of what is produced by the chemical plant but don’t know which ones are reliable.

      More fires and explosions are occurring inside Russia. It’s looking more like these are not accidents.


  2. Sev · April 27, 2022

    Thanks, I didn’t know that these depot problems were not unusual in Russia.


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