We get combat cartridges from "Hurricanes" and "Tornadoes" - how the Nikolaev pyrotechnics collect and neutralize the Russian ammunition

Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Kostiantyn Golubtsov

Updated: March 21 2022 at 07:11 pm
Source: Rimma Lamazyan

When shelling Ukrainian cities, enemy shells often hit yards, roofs, and cars and do not explode. Then they are engaged in pyrotechnics. We talked to sappers of Nikolaev who take out unexploded ordnance.

- We don't have days off from the beginning of the Russian aggression, - Andrey Shlikov, the chief of group of pyrotechnic works of State service on emergency situations (DSNS) in the Nikolaev area tells. - Usually the working day is from eight to five, but now we work without a clear schedule. Wherever they went, they ate a sandwich or a piece of canned bread and went on to work. Sometimes it is necessary to be up to eight, if it is infrastructure or a high-rise building. Therefore, 5-6 people are on duty in the emergency rescue team every day to leave as soon as possible and as early as possible. In a day we have time to work from 30 addresses - applications come to us from residents. Sometimes it is complicated by the fact that multiple rocket launchers (MLS) are very difficult to dig out with the help of hydraulic manipulators.

Around 8 am we are given accurate information from the applications received. Now there are a lot of them, about five hundred. There may be more than three applications for one projectile, or there may be applications for one abyss where there are no explosives. To weed out the replays and confirm that we have work to do on the spot, a person from the fire department who has taken explosives identification courses first goes there. We can't check all the streets at once, but if we are already there, we ask the surrounding houses if there are any dangerous objects and debris.

Russian ammunition stuck in the yard is a job for SES pyrotechnics.
Russian ammunition stuck in the yard is a job for SES pyrotechnics.

As the commander and leader of the group, I have to act quickly, there is no time for emotions: assess the situation, classify the projectile or fragment according to the level of threat, fence off the place from people, tell your family what to do.

But as a person I see how much grief around. I sympathize with people when I see damaged buildings, smashed cars and yards, when I hear that someone nearby has died or been hospitalized. It's very scary. It is difficult to realize that just a few weeks ago we had peace, and now this is happening in the country.

That week he was in one of the country cooperatives. Debris of multiple rocket launchers, as well as cartridges from MLRS (multiple rocket launchers) were removed. We saw how people in those areas are restoring electricity supply and repairing destroyed roofs.

I am not from Nikolaev, but I live in Nikolaev for 17 years, the city became native. I have a wife and two children here. Once they took away a shell that fell near our house, it is a very unpleasant feeling. We used to save people from shells in Luhansk region, and now we are saving ourselves. ”

Rescuers, like employees of some other institutions, are on duty, they manage to be at home once or twice a week.

Destroyed car, and in it
Destroyed car, and in it "Russian surprise". DSNS

Pyrotechnicians are studying new ammunition

- We get combat cartridges from MLRS "Hurricane" and "Tornado", which flew into the private homes of civilians and did not break, - says senior sapper Anton Ignatenko.

These deadly Russian "surprises" are flying into homes, kindergartens and schools. Such munitions are very dangerous because they have a self-destruct system and can work during transportation.

SES officers take Russian ammunition out of the yard. Photo by DSNS.
SES officers take Russian ammunition out of the yard. Photo by DSNS.

Every night, in their free time, sappers search for and carefully study information about ammunition that now has to be disposed of, because so far they have worked only on those left over from the First and Second World Wars. The hottest place in Nikolaev for sappers - the Ternivka residential district.

On March 9, at 5:30 a.m., there was an air strike, after which air bombs weighing 250 kilograms were neutralized. They were taken out of the yards themselves, and then loaded with the help of a car with a manipulator. Then the ammunition with damaged detonators was taken as far as possible from residential areas, they say it was very scary. Sappers also work as psychologists, reassuring those who seek help. Peaceful people panic when they see destruction, ammunition. Sappers must be calm, work slowly and look confident. They even try to smile.

The car with the disposed ammunition goes to storage, where they are disposed of after the victory. Photo by DSNS
The car with the disposed ammunition goes to storage, where they are disposed of after the victory. Photo by DSNS

Neutralized ammunition is not destroyed yet - it is taken to a safe place, where it is stored under guard. It is said that it will be disposed of after the victory so as not to make too much noise now.

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