The explosions came a week after blast a Russian air base on the peninsula ♫)) destroyed several fighter jets. A senior Ukrainian official said that an elite military unit was responsible for an attack on Tuesday that sent up a huge fireball and resulted in multiple detonations.
ODESA, Ukraine – Explosions rocked a Russian ammunition depot on the occupied Crimean Peninsula on Tuesday morning, delivering another embarrassing blow to Moscow’s forces a week after blasts at a Russian air base in the same region destroyed several fighter jets.A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the operation, said that an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines was responsible for the blasts. Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the episode was an “act of sabotage,” according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.The apparent attacks this month, which used covert forces behind enemy lines, underscore the inventiveness of Ukraine’s forces. Since the war began, they have adopted unconventional tactics in the hopes of leveling the playing field while trying to repel attacks from a much larger and better equipped Russian military.Although Ukraine’s leaders did not publicly claim responsibility, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the explosions had occurred.The adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, alsoappeared to hint at Ukrainian involvement. “A reminder: Crimea of normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves. Demilitarization in action,” he wrote onTwitter.
And although he did not confirm Ukraine’s involvement, Andriy Yermak, the head of the presidential office in Ukraine, said on the Telegram messaging app that the country’s armed forces would continue the “demilitarization” of Crimea and other captured territories until they achieved “the complete deoccupation of Ukrainian territories.”At least two civilians were wounded in the blasts in the northern peninsula, and as many as 2,000 were evacuated from the area around the weapons depot, the Kremlin-installed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said on Telegram. The explosions occurred at a temporary ammunition storage site near a military base, he said.The ammunition continued exploding after the initial blast. “At the moment detonations are continuing,” Mr. Aksyonov said.The Russian Defense Ministry said that were were no serious casualties and that the explosions damaged power lines, railroad tracks and homes.Local residents in Crimea said that the … authorities there had introduced a “yel level terrorist threat” alert and that pe were being stopped and searched as th entered parks and public buildings.After illegally annexing Crimea in 2014 the Kremlin turned the peninsula into a heavily fortified military zone that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, often describes as hallowed ground.Since Mr. Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February, Crimea has served as a key base of operations. Aircraft at Crimean bases have flown sorties over Ukraine, and ships of the Black Sea fleet based there have launched punishing rocket attacks on Ukrainian military positions and civilian neighborhoods.Until this month, Crimea appeared well protected from Ukrainian attacks. Even Ukraine’s most advanced weapons systems do not have the range to hit Russian military targets there, and its planes are incapable of making it through Russia’s air defenses on the peninsula.Then, last Tuesday, a series of powerful explosions ripped through the Saki air base in western Crimea, annihilating a good portion of the Black Sea fleet’s 43rd naval aviation regiment. That attack, according to a Ukrainian official, was carried out in part by special forces officers working with local partisan fighters.
Russia strikes along Ukraine’s front lines, with Kharkiv reporting widespread damage.
KYIV, Ukraine – As Ukraine continued to target Russian supply lines and ammunition depots behind enemy lines, Russian forces unleashed a barrage of missiles and artillery fire at Ukrainian targets in towns and cities across a front that stretches over 600 miles.