Satellite images show that several Russian warplanes landed at an airbase in Crimea were damaged or destroyed.
The Ukrainian air force claimed Wednesday that nine aircraft had been destroyed in explosions the day before. Russia has denied this claim.
These images are from Planet Labs in the USA and show several warplanes broken up and scorched earth.
One person was who was reportedly killed, and more than a dozen were injured in the blasts at Saky Russian military base. It is located close to the seaside resorts of the annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Although Kyiv has not publicly claimed responsibility, a senior Ukrainian official said to Sky News that the attack was carried out by Ukrainian Special Forces.
This would be the first major attack on a Russian military base on the Crimean Peninsula. It was taken from Ukraine in 2014 by the Kremlin and used as a launchpad to invade its neighbor in February.
The base has been used by Russian warplanes to strike areas in the south of Ukraine.
Both sides hold great strategic and symbolic importance in Crimea.
While the Kremlin demanded that Ukraine recognize Crimea as Russia’s part, it was one of the key conditions to ending the fighting. Ukraine has pledged to drive the Russians out of the peninsula and other occupied territories.
Russian authorities tried to minimize the impact of the explosions by stating Wednesday that all beaches and hotels were unaffected on the peninsula. This is a popular tourist spot for many Russians.
Russia’s attack on the Crimea airbase was a’very public and costly failure’
Justin Crump, the CEO of Sibylline intelligence company and an ex-British veteran, stated that it appeared that SU24 and SU30 strike planes belonging to naval aviation were damaged in the attack.
Sky News’s he said that Ukraine had claimed nine aircraft as theirs. Satellite images appear to support this claim. “Ukraine was responsible for this attack, but we don’t know how.”
He stated that special forces had been privately mentioned by the attackers. Given the attack on the fleet headquarters in Sevastopol two week ago, this seems plausible. Although it was a drone strike that showed they had capability, people operating around Sevastopol and the US denying any US-supplied weapons, this all points to Ukraine’s ingenuity.
“It appears that there were three places where large explosions occurred, most likely centred around buildings and ammunition storage. These explosions then affected nearby aircraft.”
He said: “Russian aircraft can be replaced, but they cannot replace Crimea’s loss of confidence as a safe place, even for Russian tourists.”
“It’s a very public, costly failure that will fuel paranoia within the Russian military. While Ukraine will continue to seek surprise in its operations, it will be a significant factor in Russia’s efforts to bolster its military.
Moscow claimed that the explosions were caused by stored ammunition.
Russia’s major news agencies reported that a ministry source said that the main cause of the Saky airfield explosion was a violation by fire safety regulations.
Officials in Ukraine mocked Russia’s explanation of how a negligent smoker could have set the Saky airbase ablaze and caused it to explode.
The Ukrainian defense ministry posted a somewhat sarcastic Facebook post saying: “The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine can’t establish the cause of the flames, but it once again recalls rules of fire safety, and the prohibition of smoking at unspecified locations.”
The article stated that it was possible for the occupiers to ‘accidentally find’ some characteristic insignia’, visit card or even ‘DNA’.
Natalia Lipovaya (a tourist) said that the powerful blasts had caused “the earth to disappear from under my feet”.
Sergey Milochinsky, an area resident, recalls hearing a roar from his window and seeing a mushroom cloud. He said, “Everything started to fall around and collapse.”
Oleksandr Zvitnevich, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, stated on Facebook that the airfield, which houses fighter jets and tactical reconnaissance aircraft, was now inaccessible.
These developments occur amid renewed shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, on Thursday.
Russian-installed officials in the locality blame Ukraine for shelling it twice in one day. This disrupted the shift changeover of power station workers.
Vladimir Rogov, a member the Moscow-installed region administration, stated on Telegram that at most three strikes were within close proximity to the radioactive-isotope storage facility. However, these reports couldn’t be verified.
Energoatom in Ukraine said that the plant was struck five times Thursday near radioactive material storage sites, but no one was hurt and radiation levels remained stable.
The concern that military activity could lead to a nuclear catastrophe has been raised by warnings about possible shelling nearby the plant.
According to intelligence from the UK, Russia’s military industrial capability is “under significant strain”, with many of its weapons systems weakened by the association with its forces’ “poor performances in the Ukraine war”.
According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russia considers the defense industry one of its greatest export success stories.
The MoD stated that Russia is unlikely to fulfill some export orders for armoured combat vehicles. This was due to the high demand for these vehicles by Russia’s forces in Ukraine and the growing effect of Western sanctions.