Russia on Tuesday blamed saboteurs for staging a series of explosions at an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea, a rare admission that armed groups loyal to Ukraine are spoiling logistics. military and supply lines in the territory it controls.
The incident followed a series of explosions last week at a Russian-run airbase in Crimea that Ukrainian officials hinted was part of some kind of special operation but Moscow said at the time. it was an accident.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement released by state news agencies on Tuesday that no one was seriously injured in the latest explosions, which it said also damaged power lines, a electricity transformers, railway infrastructure and some residential housing in the north of Crimea.
Footage on Russian state TV showed an electrical substation on fire near the Crimean town of Dzhankoi and a series of large explosions on the horizon that authorities attributed to explosive shells at a military base. .
It remains unclear how the saboteurs triggered the explosions, although Russian state media speculated they may have used small drones to bomb ammunition depots and other facilities.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Ukraine, which has been fighting to repel Russian forces for nearly six months into the war that began with the February 24 invasion of Moscow.
Two senior Ukrainian officials took to Twitter to get excited about the explosions, however, with one, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, hinting at the possibility of Ukraine’s involvement while halting confirmation. such role.
“The morning near Dzhankoi began with explosions,” Podolyak wrote.
“A reminder: Crimea (as a) normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, entertainment and tourism, but Russian-occupied Crimea is about warehouse explosions and the risk of damage.” high network for invaders and thieves. The demilitarization is active.”
Russia sees the demilitarization of Ukraine as one of its main goals in Ukraine, which it says is necessary to ensure its own security against what it sees as an uncontrolled expansion of the alliance. NATO Western Military Alliance.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported another possible act of sabotage in Crimea, citing witnesses as saying plumes of smoke could be seen over a Russian military airbase on the peninsula.
Sergei Aksyonov, Russia’s top official in Crimea, said about 2,000 locals had been evacuated from a village near an ammunition dump more than 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in circumference.
He said that two people were injured in the explosions and that rail traffic between the peninsula and the rest of southern Ukraine and Russia had been disrupted.
Russia has used Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014, to bolster its troops fighting in other parts of Ukraine with military hardware, a process Kyiv wants to disrupt before an invasion. potential counterattack in southern Ukraine that they have been carrying out for weeks. hint that it might launch.
Russian media reported that repair work was underway on the railway, while a company that operates passenger trains through Crimea said seven had been halted and rail traffic on part of the line in the east. North Crimea is suspended.
It said trains could be delayed by one to three hours.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from the syndication feed.)