Big explosions rock ammunition dump in Russian-annexed Crimea
MOSCOW: An ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea exploded Tuesday, injuring two people and disrupting rail traffic between the peninsula and the rest of southern Ukraine and Russia, the country’s top official said. Russia-backed region said.
Footage on Russian state TV showed an electrical substation on fire near the Crimean town of Dzhankoi and a series of repeated large explosions over the horizon that authorities attributed to explosive shells at a base. military.
Sergei Aksyonov, Russia’s top official in Crimea, told state television he did not want to talk about what might have caused the explosion, which he said was under review.
He said about 2,000 locals had been evacuated from the nearest village outside the perimeter of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).
Russia has used Crimea to bolster its troops fighting in what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine with military hardware. Damages reported to the peninsula’s rail network on Tuesday could disrupt that process.
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. Aksyonov said a bus service will be provided so people can continue their journey.
The incident followed a series of explosions last week at a Russian-run airbase in Crimea that Ukrainian officials alluded to was part of some special operation but which Moscow considers an accident. problem.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy accused Russia of instituting a gratuitous imperialist war of aggression. He said his armed forces are determined to liberate the territory occupied by Russian troops since 24 February and has spoken of taking back Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 after a referendum. not recognized by the West.
Adviser to Ukraine’s President Mykhailo Podolyak on Tuesday posted a cryptic Tweet alluding to Ukraine’s possible involvement in Tuesday’s blasts but did not confirm such a 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, which it says is necessary to ensure its own security from what it sees as an uncontrolled expansion of the alliance. NATO Western Military Alliance.