Ukraine Ammo Storage Site Obliterated Where Huge Fireball Seen

New satellite imagery of an ammunition and explosives storage site just to the west of the Ukrainian city of Khmelnitsky shows that most of the installation has been wiped off the map. Yesterday, videos emerged showing an absolutely gigantic fireball rising over the outskirts of Khmelnitsky. The destruction was clearly caused by a series of huge secondary explosions. Now we know for certain that it was indeed this site.

The image comes to us via Planet Labs and was taken on the morning of May 14, 2023. It shows the storage area destroyed and deeply scarred and discolored from the huge explosion. The extent of the destruction is quite remarkable, as the secure storage area is a half-mile wide.


Reports state that the facility was attacked by drones and multiple injuries and damage to buildings in the region occurred due to the resulting shockwaves from the secondary explosions.

Beyond the reports of a drone strike, exactly what weapon set off the explosion is unknown. Russia had targeted a similar storage site in eastern Ukraine just less than two weeks earlier. That attack caused similar devastation, including a gigantic crater left in the ground where the main secondary explosion originated. You can read our reports on that attack and its aftermath here and here.

Google Earth
Google Earth

What exactly was stored at this site at the time of the blast also isn’t clear. It likely held old dilapidated ammo and explosive material that dated back deeply into the Cold War era, but some have posited that newer ammunition used to support the war effort may have also been stored there. Regardless, Russia looks to be targeting these facilities to destroy any relevant materiel stored in them or at least to cause massively destructive secondary blasts.

We will continue to update you on the destruction of the site. We ordered a high-resolution image as well.

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Tyler Rogoway Avatar

Tyler Rogoway


Tyler’s passion is the study of military technology, strategy, and foreign policy and he has fostered a dominant voice on those topics in the defense media space. He was the creator of the hugely popular defense site Foxtrot Alpha before developing The War Zone.