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 Over 30 percent of ammo, including scarce types, survived Balakliia fire,- Minister Poltorak

Minister of Defense Stepan Poltorak says some 5 billion hryvnia ($184.4 million) is needed to properly guard all ammunition depots.

Censor.NET reports citing Ukrainski Novyny.

"A little more than 30 percent of ordnance survived, including scarce types of ammunition," he said at a briefing on Thursday.

See more: Unexploded ordnance disposal underway in Balakliia. PHOTOS

According to him, explosions at the depot damaged a major part of the ammunition stocks.

Poltorak stressed the fire in Balakliia did not affect the defense capability of the Ukrainian army, since other depots across the country have enough materiel.

He noted about 50,000 tons of ordnance have been removed from the Balakliia arsenal over the past years.

Watch more: "Lodging unit demined, perimeter cleaning underway," - sappers conduct demining in Balakliia. VIDEO

The minister added the investigation was yet uncertain about what caused the fire - a planted bomb or one dropped by a drone.

Poltorak stressed some 5 billion hryvnia is necessary to provide proper protection to ammunition depots across the country.

On March 23, 2017, an emergency arose at the military ammunition depot of the Defense Ministry in Ukraine's eastern town of Balakliia. Several storage areas of rocket and cannon artillery ordnance (tank and artillery missiles of 125 mm and 152 mm caliber) caught fire, with massive explosions of ordnance following. More than 16,000 Balakliia residents were evacuated.

Chief Military Prosecutor Anatolii Matios said the emergency in Balakliia was an act of sabotage.

Later, a video of explosions at the ammunition depot was published online.

According to Defense Minister Poltorak, the incident in Balakliia caused no serious damage to the defense capacity of the country.
 
 
 
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