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Ukraine says 9 Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts


KYIV: UkraineThe air force said on Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a large explosion at an air base in Crimea between speculations, they are the result of a Ukrainians The attack would represent a significant escalation in the war.
Russia denies any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s explosion – or any attack took place.
Ukrainian officials have stopped publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, mocking Russia’s explanation that ammunition at the Saki airbase caught fire and exploded, and stressed the importance of selling. island that Moscow annexed eight years ago.
In his nightly speech a few hours after the explosion, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to retake the peninsula, saying that “this Russian war against Ukraine and against the whole of free Europe begins with Crimea and must end with Crimea – its liberation.”
On Wednesday, Russian authorities sought to downplay the explosions, saying all hotels and beaches were unaffected on the peninsula, a popular tourist destination for many Russians. The explosions left one person dead and 13 injured, sending panic-stricken tourists fleeing as thick smoke blanketed the nearby beach. They smashed windows and caused other damage in several apartment buildings.
Russian warplanes briefly used Saki to hit areas in southern Ukraine, and Ukrainian social media was abuzz with speculation that long-range missiles fired by Ukraine hit the base.
Officials in Moscow have long warned Ukraine that any attack on Crimea would trigger major retaliation, including attacks on “decision-making centers” in Kyiv.
An adviser to the President of Ukraine, Oleksiy Arestovych, who is more outspoken than other officials, cryptically said on Tuesday that the explosions were caused by long-range weapons manufactured by Ukraine or by guerrillas operating in the country. Crimea caused.
The base on the Black Sea peninsula off southern Ukraine is at least 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) from the closest location to Ukraine – out of range of US-supplied missiles for use in the HIMARS system.
The Ukrainian military successfully used those missiles, with a range of 80 km (50 miles), against ammunition and fuel depots, strategic bridges and other important targets in the territories. occupied by Russia. HIMARS can also fire longer-range missiles, with a range of up to 300 km (about 185 miles) that Ukraine has requested.
However, US authorities have refused to provide it so far, fearing that it could provoke Russia and widen the conflict. But the explosions in Saki have sparked speculation on social media that Ukraine may finally have weapons.
Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov states that Ukrainian forces may have hit a Russian airbase with a Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missile that has a range of about 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) and may have been adapted for use against targets. ground targets and can be fired from Ukrainian positions. near Mykolaiv to the northwest of Crimea.
The Ukrainian military may also have used Western-supplied Harpoon anti-ship missiles that can also be used against ground targets and have a range of about 300 kilometers (about 185 miles), he said.
“Officially Kyiv kept her mother about it, but the military unofficially acknowledged that it was a Ukrainian attack,” Zhdanov said.
In fact, if Ukrainian forces were responsible for the explosions, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site in Crimea, which Kremlin merged in 2014. A smaller explosion last month at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol was blamed on Ukrainian saboteurs using a makeshift drone.
During the war, Russia reported multiple fires and explosions at weapons storage sites on its territory near the Ukrainian border, blaming some of them on Ukrainian air strikes. . Ukrainian authorities have mostly kept quiet about the cases.
Meanwhile, Russian shelling hit areas across Ukraine from Tuesday night to Wednesday, including the central Dnipropetrovsk region, where 13 people were killed and 11 others wounded, according to the governor. Valentyn Reznichenko region.
Reznichenko said Russian forces fired on the city of Marganets and a nearby village. Dozens of residential buildings, two schools and several administrative buildings were damaged by shelling.
“It was a terrible night,” Reznichenko said. “It is very difficult to get the body from the debris. We are facing a cruel enemy who perpetrates terror daily against our cities and villages.”
Russian forces also continued shelling the nearby city of Nikopol across the Dnieper River from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest.
Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling the power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear plant, raising international fears of a disaster.





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