UJ.com
                        TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022
Make Homepage /  Add Bookmark
Front Page
Nation
Business
Search
Subscription
Advertising
About us
Copyright
Contact
 

   Username:
   Password:


Registration

 
GISMETEO.RU
UJ Week
Top 1   

    
Nation    

9 Russian planes destroyed in Crimea blast
Journal Staff Report

KYIV, Aug 10 - Ukraine said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly string of explosions at an air base in Crimea that appeared to be the result of a Ukrainian attack, which would represent a significant escalation in the war.

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesdays blasts or that any attack took place. But satellite photos clearly showed at least seven fighter planes at the base had been blown up and others probably damaged.

Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russias explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up. Analysts also said that explanation doesnt make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.

If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, responsible for the blasts, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site on the Crimean Peninsula, which was seized from Ukraine by the Kremlin in 2014. Russian warplanes have used Saki to strike areas in Ukraines south.

Crimea holds huge strategic and symbolic significance for both sides. The Kremlins demand that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia has been one of its key conditions for ending the fighting, while Ukraine has vowed to drive the Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied territories.

The explosions, which killed one person and wounded 14, sent tourists fleeing in panic as plumes of smoke rose over the coastline nearby. Video showed shattered windows and holes in the brickwork of some buildings.

One tourist, Natalia Lipovaya, said that the earth was gone from under my feet after the powerful blasts. I was so scared, she said.

Sergey Milochinsky, a local resident, recalled hearing a roar and seeing a mushroom cloud from his window. Everything began to fall around, collapse, he said.

Crimeas regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said some 250 residents were moved to temporary housing after dozens of apartment buildings were damaged.

Russian authorities sought to downplay the explosions, saying Wednesday that all hotels and beaches were unaffected on the peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination for many Russians. But video posted on social media showed long lines of slowly moving cars on the road to Russia as tourists headed for home.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, cryptically said that the blasts were either caused by Ukrainian-made long-range weapons or the work of Ukrainian guerrillas operating in Crimea.

A Ukrainian parliament member, Oleksandr Zavitnevich, said the airfield was rendered unusable. He reported on Facebook that it housed fighter jets, tactical reconnaissance aircraft and military transport planes.

Satellite images from Planet Labs PBC taken at midafternoon Wednesday showed some 2 square kilometers (0.75 square mile) of grassland burned at the Saki base. Several craters marked the ground near the tarmac typically the sign of a powerful explosion. The two runways bore no apparent damage and appeared to still be operational. Some of the fighter jets on the flight line had been moved farther down the runway, compared to images taken Tuesday before the blast.

The base has been home to the Russian 43rd Independent Naval Assault Air Squadron since Moscow seized Crimea. The squadron flies Sukhoi Su-24s and Sukhoi Su-30s. The base also includes a number of earth-covered bunkers and hangars around its periphery typically used to house munitions in case of a fire. None appeared damaged.

The base is at least 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) from the closest Ukrainian position. Zhdanov suggested that Ukrainian forces could have struck it with Ukrainian or Western-supplied anti-ship missiles that have the necessary range. (ap/ez)




Log in

Print article E-mail article


Currencies (in hryvnias)
  04.10.2022 prev
USD 36.57 36.57
RUR 0.631 0.631
EUR 37.27 37.27

Stock Market
  03.10.2022 prev
PFTS 519.2 519.2
source: PFTS

OTHER NEWS

Ukrainian Journal   
Front PageNationBusinessEditorialFeatureSubscriptionAdvertisingSearchAbout usCopyrightContact
Copyright 2005 Ukrainian Journal. All rights reserved
Programmed by TAC webstudio