Senior official said Ukraine was behind blasts at Russian air base in Crimea

Smoke rises after explosions were heard from the direction of a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea, August 9, 2022. (REUTERS) (STRINGER/)

A Ukrainian attack caused the explosions that were recorded on Tuesday at a strategic Russian air base in Crimea., a territory under the control of the Kremlin, a senior Ukrainian military official assured the New York Times, amid the lack of details in the information provided by Russia on what exactly has happened.

“This was an air base from which planes regularly took off for attacks against our forces in the southern theater of operations”the official told the US media, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters. The official did not disclose the type of weapon used in the attack, saying only that “an exclusively Ukrainian-made device was used.”

At least one person died in the attack.reported Governor Sergey Aksyonov, in addition to five wounded. The announcement at least partially contradicted the Ministry of Defense statement, which assured that there were no human losses or injuries to be regretted. The same text indicates that the planes parked at the site were not damaged.

Videos posted on social media showed the sunbathers fleeing a nearby beach as huge clouds of smoke from the explosions rose over the horizon, while many motorists were stranded on a nearby road waiting to see what would happen with the continuous explosions.

aksyonovlocal government leader, reported that ambulances and medical helicopters were dispatched to Saki airbasebut did not say if there were any casualties. He added that the authorities cordoned off the area within a radius of 5 kilometers from the base.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and Moscow has warned that any attack on the peninsula would trigger a massive retaliation.including attacks on “decision-making centers” in kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

The Saki base allowed the Russian fighter jets stationed there attack areas in southern Ukraine at short notice.

Previously, at least three Ukrainian civilians were reported killed and 23 others wounded by Russian strikes in 24 hoursincluding one near a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.

Russian forces fired some 120 rockets from Grad multiple rocket launchers towards the southern town of Nikopol.which is across the Dnieper River from the Nuclear Power Plant Zaporizhzhiaaccording to the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Valentyn Reznichenko. Several apartment buildings and industrial facilities were damaged, he said.

In the last days, Ukraine and Russia accused each other of attacking the nuclear plantr, which is the largest in Europe and increasing the risk of a nuclear accident.

In his evening video address, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, recalled the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine, then a Soviet republic. He called for new sanctions against Russia for “creating the threat” of another nuclear disaster.

“We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail, shelling and mining of the facilities of the Zaporizhzhya power plant,” Zelenskyy said. “Russia will not pay attention to words and concerns (…). The Chernobyl disaster is a reactor explosion, the Zaporizhzhia power plant is six power units.”

A Russian soldier near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/File)
A Russian soldier near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (REUTERS / Alexander Ermochenko / file) (ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO /)

The Kremlin claimed on Monday that the Ukrainian army was attacking the plant and urged Western powers to force kyiv to stop.

A Ukrainian counteroffensive and Russian defensive actions in occupied areas have increased the exchange of fire to the south of the Ukraine.

At the beginning of the war, after he failed to take the Ukrainian capital, kyiv, the Russian army focused on trying to take the entire eastern region of Donbas. Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the region for eight years and control some territory as self-proclaimed republics.

The British Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that Russian forces had made their main advances in the last month towards the town of Bakhmuta limited advance of about 10 kilometers.

“In other sectors of Donbas where Russia was trying to advance, its forces have not gained more than 3 kilometers in this 30-day period; almost certainly considerably less than planned,” the British ministry said.

However, the Ministry warned that, despite the attention required in southern Ukraine, Russia has maintained its attacks on Ukrainian positions in the east.

The governor of the eastern province of Donetsk, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said the Russians were trying to put pressure on their offense at various points. Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, was hit by Russian shell rounds four times in the previous 24 hours and there was some damage to the city’s infrastructure.

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