A leak has been reported at the Crimean Titan plant, a major manufacturer of titanium dioxide, in the northern part of the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, close to the de-facto border with mainland Ukraine.

Chief of the "Russian administration of Armyansk" Vasily Telizhenko said that the expert would test air quality for the three next days four times per day after reports of a leak at the plant, according to RFE/RL.

The official has claimed via Facebook that the concentration of hazardous substances in the air does not exceed permissible levels.

Read also"Humanitarian crisis" in Crimea narrative invented by Russian propaganda – KulebaEarlier, head of the Titanovie Investitsii LLC branch in Armyansk, Eduard Kurmachev, said that on August 18, an "insignificant cloud" had formed over the plant, which dissipated within 10 minutes.

Leaks at "Crimean Titan": background

In August 2018, an unknown substance leaked into the air over northern Crimea. In Armyansk and Yana Kapu (Krasnoperekopsk), metal objects were being covered with rust, leaves were falling from trees, and birds were seen dying amid a persistent acid stench in the air. Due to air pollution, local doctors said residents started reporting respiratory complaints at an unusual rate.

Another release of chemicals was reported in mid-September 2018. Occupation "authorities" in Crimea claimed that the reason for the pollution was the evaporation of acid from a storage tank used by the "Crimean Titan" plant as a result of the heat and drought. The state of emergency was introduced in Armyansk and a decision was made to suspend operations at the plant for two weeks, to evacuate children and women.

Ukrainian intelligence said the environmental situation deteriorated after projectiles reportedly hit chemical waste sedimentation tanks at titanium and soda plants during Russian military drills.