Spokesman for the Defense Ministry Dmytro Hutsuliak has said the Ukrainian intelligence found out that a threatening chemical leak in the north of Russian-occupied Crimea was a result of an artillery strike that hit chemical waste tanks during the Russian military drills.

"According to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the military-political leadership of the Russian Federation demands to constantly increase the combat capabilities of the occupation forces deployed in temporarily occupied Crimea. In this regard, commanders of units of the Russian armed forces are constantly increasing the intensity of training and drills in the territory of the occupied Crimean peninsula," Hutsuliak told a briefing on Wednesday.

Read alsoChildren evacuated from occupied Crimea town as panic rises over chemical leak

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At the same time, most areas for conducting combat exercises are used by Russian military without the consent and prior informing of Crimeans living there. In particular, on August 13-19, during the training aimed to work out defenses of the de-facto border with Kherson region, Russian units conducted firing exercises near the waste settling tanks of titanium and soda plants. These facilities were damaged by shells, which led to a significant deterioration of the environmental situation in the entire northern part of the occupied Crimea.

The ministry notes that the Russian occupation command is trying to hide the scale of the environmental issue and avoid responsibility by spreading false and distorted messages in the media that misinform the public about the actual environmental threat in Crimea.

As UNIAN reported, in the early hours of August 24, an unknown chemical substance was released in the air across the northern part of the occupied Crimea.

It has been previously established that the emission took place at the local Crimean Titan plant.