Russian state media reported that the Russian Defense Ministry blamed saboteurs for an explosion at a military warehouse in northern Crimea that displaced more than 3,000 people.
Tuesday’s explosions rocked an ammunition storage facility near the village of Mayskoye and disrupted train services and power supplies although no one was seriously injured in the blasts, the ministry said.
Russia’s Kommersant newspaper also reported on Tuesday another possible act of sabotage in Crimea, citing witnesses as saying plumes of smoke could be seen over a Russian military airbase on peninsula in Gvardeyskoye.
Subsequent incidents a series of explosions last week at a Russian-run airbase in Crimea which Ukrainian officials had alluded to was part of some kind of special operation but Moscow said at the time was an accident.
State news agency TASS quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that civilian infrastructure was damaged as a result the result of “vandalism” – a rare admission that armed groups loyal to Ukraine are causing losses in military logistics and supply lines inside Russia-annexed Crimea.
Moscow’s senior representative in the region, Sergei Aksyonov, confirmed that two people were injured in an explosion at the ammunition depot, rail traffic was halted and thousands had to be evacuated from nearby villages.
Aksyonov did not give a cause for the latest explosions in Crimea, an area Moscow has used as a supply route for the war in Ukraine.
Last week, explosions at a military airbase on the west coast of Crimea caused extensive damage and destroyed several Russian war planes. Moscow called it an accident, although the simultaneous explosions made the craters visible from space.
In the latest explosions, an electrical substation also caught fire near the town of Dzhankoi, according to footage on Russian state TV. It showed large explosions on the horizon that authorities said were caused by ammunition depot 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.
Disruptions to the railway could disrupt Moscow’s ability to support the Ukrainian army with military hardware.
The district where the explosions occurred, Dzhankoi, is located in the northern part of the peninsula, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Russian-controlled Kherson region in southern Ukraine. Kyiv has recently launched a series of attacks on various locations in the region, hitting supply routes for Russian troops there and ammunition depots.
Ukraine has not officially confirmed or denied responsibility for the explosions in Crimea, although its officials have publicly cheered the incidents in a territory that, until last week, seemed safe. completely within Moscow’s control and out of the scope of Ukraine’s attacks.
Two senior Ukrainian officials took to Twitter to cheer about the explosions, however, one of them, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, alluded to Ukraine’s involvement while ceasing to confirm such a role. .
“The morning near Dzhankoi began with explosions,” Podolyak wrote.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, tweeted about how Crimea was once a tourist destination when Ukraine controlled it but has now turned into a war zone since it was occupied by Russia.
Ukraine’s Crimea is a great tourist destination.
Occupied Crimea became a military base, filled with missiles and weapons.
Tourists are running away.
Hospitals were flooded with the wounded.
Environmental disaster, mass death of dolphins.
Is that the Crimea that the people of Crimea wish for? pic.twitter.com/65VfpOU8RO
– Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) August 16, 2022
It remains unclear how the saboteurs caused the explosions, although Russian state media speculated they may have used small drones to bomb ammunition depots and other facilities.
The Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014 in a move that most countries do not recognize, is the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and is as popular in the Northern Hemisphere as summer. a resort.
Ukraine’s apparent new ability to strike deeper into Russian territory could potentially change the dynamics of Kyiv’s six-month war to disrupt Russia’s supply lines in the face of a counter-offensive. planned by Ukraine.
Similar to last week’s attack on the airbase, the ammunition stockpile is out of range of the main missiles that Western countries admit to having given Ukraine, raising the prospect that Kyiv will acquire the weapons capability. new gas.