Ukraine war

Russian airbase in annexed Crimea rocked by explosions from Ukrainian shelling

Several explosions occurred at a Russian air base in Crimea. (Stringer/TASS via ZUMA Press)

According to Russian authorities, other explosions rocked a Russian air base in occupied Crimea on Tuesday, resulting in at least one death and multiple injuries.

Videos on social media allegedly depicted big explosions at a military airstrip in the Saki sector of Crimea, a disputed peninsula taken by Russian forces in 2014.

The Russian media reported one fatality and at least five injuries at the airstrip.

"There are explosions at the airport. Viktoria Kazmirova, deputy leader of the occupation authority in Crimea, informed the Russian news agency TASS that all the windows had been smashed.

Locals reported hearing twelve explosions emanating from the base. According to Russian sources, the blasts were caused by the demolition of multiple ammo depots.

The base houses a squadron of Russian naval strike aircraft and a pilot training facility.

There were widespread rumors on Ukrainian social media that the Ukrainian military had attacked the base, but Ukrainian officials did not confirm the attack officially.

According to a senior Ukrainian military official speaking to the New York Times on Tuesday, the explosions were part of an attack on the base.

The officer, who was not identified in the report, stated that Ukrainian partisan fighters were participating in the attack but declined to comment on the involvement of professional Ukrainian military formations.

Similarly, the official refused to comment on the weapon used against the base, stating only that "a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used" - a revealing proviso considering the United States reluctance to provide Ukraine with weapons that can penetrate deeply into Russian territory.

If the explosions were the result of a Ukrainian attack, it would be the first severe strike against Russian forces in Crimea, which has acted as a base for the Russian Black Sea fleet since before its takeover in 2014, and a significant escalation of the fighting.

In a Tuesday evening video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky demanded the total freedom of Crimea and the evacuation of the Russian naval assets that have existed there since the Soviet era.

He stated, "Crimea is Ukraine, and we will never give it up."

"The Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with the annexation of Crimea in 2014," he stated, referring to the annexation, "and must end with the liberation of Crimea."

On Tuesday, Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian governor of Crimea, claimed that no civilians had been killed.

"Ambulance crews are at the scene," he stated. It is too early to discuss the victims.

"No civilians have been hospitalized for medical treatment," he continued.

Nonetheless, initial reports by TASS indicated that one youngster was injured in the explosions.

Russia has repeatedly warned that any attack on Crimea would be perceived as an escalation and may lead to more attacks on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

Publish : 2022-08-10 07:16:00

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