Russian forces had hit a storage tank holding "remnants" of nitric acid, sending up a plume that he said was not a threat to the local population, Serhii Haidai, the head of Ukraine's Luhansk regional military administration, said Saturday.
"There were some remnants of nitric acid — around three tons," he said in televised remarks. "The local population is not under threat, as the impact zone around the acid tank is not more than 550 meters. Thank God, there wasn't that much acid left."
A video posted on Haidai's official Telegram channel showed an orange plume in the sky from the site of the shelling.
Haidai also reported heavy Russian shelling of communities of Rubizhne, Popasna and Hirske.
Ukrainian authorities were continuing evacuations of civilians, one day after a Russian missile strike on a train station where Ukrainian civilians had assembled to evacuate from the eastern Donbas region, he added.
"We have changed the railway stations for evacuation, I'm not going to name those, but we have changed them and the evacuation is ongoing," he said.
"It's difficult to say how many people are still staying, because there is constant shelling and people are hiding in the shelters," Haidai said. "But in total, only 30% of population of all region has stayed."