Ukraine closes its administrative border with the Crimea because of toxic chemical emissions

Ukraine suspended the work of entry/exit checkpoints of Kalanchak and Chaplynka, on the border with the annexed Crimea. The decision was adopted by the administration of the Kherson region on Thursday, September 6, due to toxic chemical emissions coming from the territory the chemical plant in of Armyansk , in the north of the Crimea. In addition, the administration also decided “to close schools and day cares located in areas of possible threat”.

On the same day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the need to create an international commission to “stop the ecological catastrophe” in the Crimea. Poroshenko also proposed inviting “children from Armyansk to Kherson region so that they can rest and get better". He instructed the border guards to establish a simplified border-crossing procedure for the children from the Crimea.

Since the end of August, residents of the south of Ukraine near the border with the annexed Crimea have complained of an oily plaque, similar to rust, covering metal objects. People also complained that children experience dry and sore throats, rash and vomiting. Hospitals begin accepting the patients with symptoms of chemical poisoning.

On 4th September, the head of the Russian administration of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov stated that the emissions occurred due to the exceeded of sulfur dioxide in the air. Crimea’s authorities concluded that this was caused by the emissions from the acid plant Crimean Titan, which became a subsidiary of the Russian company Titanium Investments after the Russian annexation of Crimea.

More than 4 thousand people were evacuated from the city. Due to the incident, Sergei Aksenov ordered to close all schools and day cares of the city for two weeks. Production at the titanium plant is suspended for the same period.

  Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, Armyansk