Due to the Russian occupiers’ negligence for flooding Yevpatoria with the waters of Lake Sasyk-Sivash, our Association on December 26 pointed out the environmental risks, associated with flooding and erosion of toxic dumps of the Saki Chemical Plant at Cape Chervony on the same lake [1]. It will be recalled that until 1987, the Saki plant produced components for Soviet chemical weapons and other highly toxic substances for industry, including methyl bromide, from lake brine. This Soviet enterprise’s dangerous production, located near two children’s resorts, was finally stopped, in its demilitarized in late-Soviet times part, by the Ukrainian authorities in 2002.

A day after the ARC’s publication, on Tuesday, December 28, the “Head of the Crimea” Sergey Aksyonov stated [2] that the territory of the chemical plant “is planned to be rehabilitated”. At the same time, by the end of 2022, the “bankruptcy procedure” is supposed to be “completed”, then the objects of the dangerous enterprise promise to be transferred to the “Saki municipal property”, and only then some mythical “private investor” will appear, which will allegedly rehabilitate the territory. It will be recalled that a year ago even Russian propagandists, who visited the remains of the plant, noted that “everything here is chemical waste mixed with each other” and described “colorful earth, fragments of plastic, unusual black porous substance” that is “scary to touch” [3].

It is worth recalling the history of the Saki chemical plant’s bankruptcy, which is closely connected with Russia’s preparation to capture the Crimea. Even before the complete cessation of plant’s production, in December 1999 the Commercial Court of the AR of Crimea instituted bankruptcy proceedings against this company with register number 05761732 [4], which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industrial Policy of Ukraine. In 2000, the plant was declared bankrupt, in 2004 the court approved a plan for its reorganization, and in July 2009 the court extended the debtor’s reorganization procedure and renewed the powers of the appointed arbitration manager Vasyl Pitelyak until March 3, 2014 [5].

It is noteworthy that in July 2013, according to the same Bakhchisaray businessman Pitelyak’s application, the court lifted all arrests of millions of Saki plant’s accounts and property. And, under Russian occupation, “by a strange coincidence”, the Russian “administration” appointed since 2014 same Vasil Pitelyak, as “liquidator” of the enterprise. “Registers” of the aggressor under the number 1149102180941 [6]. Although the “reclamation” of the bankrupt plant was declared in the “State Program for the Development of the Industrial Complex for 2015-2017” approved by the Russian invaders in late 2014 [7], the aggressor’s representatives were really interested in both on the possibility of practical resumption of chemical weapons production in Saki and on some projects of usage the plant’s “excessive” objects as building materials [8]. Well, now no one mentions the millions of hryvnias that disappeared from the plant’s accounts at the beginning of the occupation, due to its liquidators’ scam, described above.

In the framework of the Russia-controlled production of chemical products in Saki, it is worth mentioning the revival of the inconspicuous Saki’s “Yodobrom” company, registered next to the chemical plant, with revenue in 2020 of 80 million rubles [9]. This structure is actively “suing” in the aggressor-controlled structures with the “Saki chemical plant” itself over the consequences of the joint operation of its facilities. At the end of 2019, the same Vasyl Pitelyak “legalized” the ownership of the plant’s property complex for its “clone”, controlled by the Russian invaders through a fake “lawsuit” in “case A83-15797/2019” [10].

At the same time, this property is currently disputed in the “case A83-21187/2021” by Saki businessman Alexander Firsunin [11], who is listed in the “registers” of the Russian invaders, specializing in “dismantling and demolition of buildings” [12]. In addition, as our Association has already reported, building materials, namely shell rock, are currently being actively mined at the Saki plant’s chemical landfill at Sasyk’s Cape Chervony. Under such conditions, the promises of the invaders and collaborators to “somehow resolve” the issue of reclamation of the chemical plant’s wastes and territory in the coming years seem completely utopian.

At the same time, the situation with the Lake Sasyk-Sivash’s hydrology may be significantly aggravated by a new large-scale infrastructural project of militarization of the Crimea, namely the construction of a new route “Simferopol – Skvortsove –Yevpatoria – Mirny” bypassing the lake, from its northern part [13]. This project is an extension of the “Tavrida” route and it aims to connect effectively, via the Kerch Bridge, Russia with the main Black Sea Fleet’s naval bases of the on Lake Donuzlav. Like the “Tavrida” highway, the new construction was handed over to the “VAD” company of Russian billionaires Viktor Perevalov and Valery Abramov, about which in December 2021 the “prescripts” of the same Sergey Aksyonov were issued [14].

This route is expected to be commissioned in early 2025, and the obvious consequences of its construction will be catastrophic changes in Lake Sasyk’s hydrology, including new floods and flooding in the Saky District. Thus, further Russia’s militarization of the Crimea could lead to an ecological catastrophe, caused by their Soviet predecessors’ “legacy”, who manufactured chemical weapons at the Saki chemical plant and left behind a zone of special danger. The potential entry of chemical waste from the Saki plant into open watercourses, connected to the Black Sea’s Kalamitsky Bay, will mean the collapse of unique ecosystems and the destruction of the recreational potential of this Crimean district, it threatens the entire Black Sea region.

1. https://arc.construction/24261
2. https://crimea.octagon.media/novosti/u_chastnyx_investorov_est_predlozheniya_po_ispolzovaniyu_ximzavoda_v_sakax.html

3. https://www.crimea.kp.ru/daily/27140/4233229/

4. https://ring.org.ua/edr/uk/company/05761732

5. https://reyestr.court.gov.ua/Review/32582299

6. https://kontragent.io/company/1149102180941/9107004741/info

7. https://crimea-news.com/economy/2015/08/21/120490.html

8. http://adm-saki.ru/problemnye-voprosy-goroda-saki-vyneseny-na-zasedanie-soveta-ministrov-kryma/

9. https://kontragent.skrin.ru/issuers/NAULV; http://www.iodobrom.com/index.php/kontakty

10. https://kad.arbitr.ru/Card/aa68996d-5626-4397-92c2-05885fb12927

11. https://kad.arbitr.ru/Card?number=%D0%9083-21187/2021

12. https://www.1cont.ru/contragent/320911200095831

13. https://gorod24.online/evpatoriya/news/225375-vad_poluchil_kontrakt_na_stroitelstvo_vtoroy_ocheredi_dorogi_na_evpatoriyu.html

14. https://incrimea.top/news/3861-glava-kryma-zajavil-o-fakticheskom-zapuske-dvizhenija-po-novoj-trasse-na-evpatoriju.html