Explosions rocked an ammunition depot and disrupted trains in Russia-annexed Crimea on Tuesday, the latest such incident in an area Moscow uses as a supply route for the war in Syria. Ukraine.
Kyiv alluded to an engagement that, if true, could indicate a new ability to strike deeper into Russian territory, potentially changing the dynamics of the six-month conflict.
Calling the incident “sabotage”, Moscow confirmed that two people were injured, rail traffic was halted and about 2,000 people in a nearby village had to be evacuated.
The Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014 in a move not recognized by most countries, is the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and popular in the summer as a holiday resort. cool.
Last week, explosions at another military base on Crimea’s west coast caused extensive damage and destroyed several Russian war planes.
In Tuesday’s incident, an electrical substation also caught fire near the town of Dzhankoi in northern Crimea, according to footage on Russian state television. It showed explosions on the horizon that authorities said were caused by munitions explosions.
Russia’s RIA news agency said seven passenger trains had been delayed and rail traffic on part of the line in northern Crimea had been suspended. That could disrupt the ability to support the Ukrainian army with military hardware.
Ukraine has not officially confirmed or denied responsibility for the explosions in Crimea, although its officials have publicly cheered the incidents in territory that, until last week, seemed safe within range. Moscow’s control out of attack range.
VIEW | Explosion of a military airbase in Crimea:
Following Tuesday’s fresh outbursts, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak and chief of staff Andriy Yermak both expressed excitement on social media about “demilitarization”: a mocking reference clearly coming from Russia. used to justify his invasion.
“I repeat: Crimea [as a] Normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, entertainment and tourism, but Russian-occupied Crimea is about warehouse explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves. Demilitarization is working,” Podolyak tweeted.
“The exact style of ‘demilitarization’ operation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces will continue until there is absolutely no occupation of the territories of Ukraine,” Yermak wrote on Telegram.
The Mystery of Weapons
In another incident on Tuesday, clouds of smoke were seen at a Russian military airbase near the settlement of Hvardiyske in central Crimea, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported.
Kyiv aims to disrupt Russian supply lines in the face of a planned counter-offensive from Ukraine.
Russia’s Crimea bases are largely out of range of the main missiles that Western countries admit to giving Ukraine, raising the prospect that the country acquires new capabilities.
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Present19:25Fear of disaster at Ukraine’s nuclear plant controlled by Russia
With fighting raging since 24 February, attention has also been focused in recent days on shelling in the vicinity of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine.
Both sides blame each other for the risks to Europe’s largest nuclear facility, which Russia has seized even though Ukrainian technicians operate it.
The conflict has displaced millions, killed thousands and deepened the geopolitical rift between Moscow and the West.
Putin makes the latest accusations about the West
Russia calls its invasion a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing its neighbour, protecting Russian-speaking communities and repelling the expansion of the NATO military alliance.
Ukraine and Western supporters accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of waging an imperialist war of aggression.
In a speech to a security conference, Putin accused the United States of trying to prolong the war in Ukraine by backing the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy while also causing friction in Asia.
He cited the AUKUS security treaty between Australia, Britain and the US as evidence of Western efforts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Putin said US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit this month to Taiwan, which China claims as its own, was “part of a conscious, purposeful US strategy to upset stabilize and sow chaos in the region and around the world.”
Grains headed to Africa after delays
Even as the biggest assault on a European country since 1945, progress has been made on a grain deal to defuse a global food crisis caused by falling Ukrainian exports.
The Brave Commander has left the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi, carrying the first humanitarian food aid shipment from Ukraine to Africa since the Russian invasion.
On the battlefield, the sides reported no major changes in position.
Ukraine said it continued Russian missile and artillery attacks in the eastern Donbas region, and succeeded in repelling Russian efforts near the Lysychansk oil refinery in the Luhansk region of the Donbas.