When Ukrainian troops bombed Donetsk, Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian separatists, a brewery was damaged and one of more than 30 people which were in the brewery at that time was killed, according to local officials.
The shelling released ammonia which was able to spread within a radius of two kilometers in the heart of the city during the night before the escape could be stopped. The population was asked to stay indoors and keep windows closed. Ammonia - known for its pungent odor - is used as a coolant in beer brewing.
Donetsk is the largest city in Donbass and is considered a stronghold of Russia-controlled separatists who are demanding the region's annexation to Russia. The front between Ukrainian troops and the separatists, who have been officially supported by Russia since the country invaded Ukraine in February, has been running north-east of Donetsk since 2014. The declared goal of Ukraine is not only to keep the free areas in Ukraine, but also to win back all areas occupied by separatists and the Russian army, such as the Donbass.
Donetsk is home of Sarmat brewery, which was bought in 2008 by SABMiller and was handed over to Turkish brewer Efes when the two merged their Russian and Ukrainian units in 2011. In 2014 the brewery produced about 2 million hl of beer. Production was stopped between 2015 and 2017 after Russian-backed separatist started a war in the region following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
In March 2017, production of the Donezk brewery was resumed by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic under the name Donetskiy Pivovarennyj Zavod (Donetsk Brewery).