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Ukraine war: Explosions rock Russian base in Ukraine’s Crimea

Desk Report
August 16, 2022 5:59 pm
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A military base in Russian-occupied Crimea has been hit by a series of explosions, reportedly leaving at least two people hurt.

Russian officials said a fire triggered the blasts at an arms dump in the Dzhankoi area in northern Crimea.

A fire was also visible at an electricity substation.

What caused the blasts is unclear, but last week Russian warplanes were destroyed in an apparent Ukrainian attack on the Crimean coast.

Russia’s defence ministry said the fire had broken out at a temporary ammunition storage site near the village of Maiske at around 06:15 Moscow time (03:15 GMT) and that the cause was being investigated. The ministry said there had been no “serious” casualties, but a Russian-appointed official said two people had been wounded.

Ukrainian presidential office adviser Mykhailo Podolyak described the incident as “demilitarisation in action”, indicating that the explosions were not accidental. A Crimean Tatar leader, Refat Chubarov, also described the explosions as a “hit” that could be heard “far across the steppe”.

Crimea was seized from Ukraine and then annexed by Russia in early 2014, and when Russian forces unleashed a new invasion in February they used their bases on the peninsula to capture large swathes of southern Ukraine.

After a Russian air base at Saky was hit last Tuesday, satellite images revealed significant damage, with at least eight warplanes destroyed. Although Russia said that incident was also accidental, it was clear that the base had come under Ukrainian attack. The UK Ministry of Defence said the blasts had “significantly degraded” the aviation capability of the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet.

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