Ukraine war: Crimea ‘sabotage’ case highlights Russia’s woes

KYIV, Ukraine –

A series of explosions and flames still burning on Wednesday turned Russia-annexed Crimea from a safe base for the next invasion of Ukraine into the latest highlight of the challenges ahead for Moscow. in the war had almost reached the half-year mark.

A statement from Britain’s defense intelligence agency said “Russian commanders will most likely become increasingly concerned about the apparent deterioration in security across Crimea, which functions as a backstop for the invasion.” occupied.”

Even Russia itself admits it was an “act of sabotage” that caused explosions and fires on Tuesday that tore through an ammunition depot near Dzhankoi in the once-secured Crimea, leading to chaos as some 3,000 people were forced to die. evacuation.

As a vivid reminder of Russia’s vulnerability in Crimea, explosions at the depot near Dzhankoi continued on Wednesday. Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said that authorities were sending a fire helicopter to try and put out the fire. He said that a search for the perpetrators of the attack was underway.

A week earlier, Russian troops in Crimea had come under pressure when Ukraine said nine Russian warplanes had been destroyed in the explosions. At the time, Moscow still raised the possibility that the cause was the cause of taking a stupid cigarette.

Such explanations will no longer exist as the war, which has long centered on brutal skirmishes in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, has made southern Crimea increasingly important.

According to a report by the business newspaper Kommersant, the outlook is worse in Crimea, that explosions have also occurred near Gvardeyskoye in the center of the peninsula. As of Wednesday, there was still no comment from Russian authorities.

The British intelligence report said Gvardeyskoye and Dzhankoi “are home to two of Russia’s most important military airports in Crimea.”

Ukraine has stopped claiming responsibility for any explosions, including those at another air base in Crimea last week. Russia occupied the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and used it to launch attacks against Ukraine during the war that began on 24 February.

If Ukrainian forces were behind the explosions, that would represent a significant escalation in the war. Such attacks could also indicate that Ukrainian special forces can penetrate deep into Russian-occupied territory.

On the eastern front, the stalemate between both sides continued, with the ferocity of shelling causing more death and destruction.

In the Donetsk region, which has been leading the Russian offensive, two civilians were killed and seven others injured as a result of recent Russian shelling of several towns and villages.

According to Odesa regional government spokesman Oleh Bratchuk, a Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bomber fired cruise missiles into the Odesa area overnight, injuring four people.

In the southern city of Mykolaiv, two Russian missiles damaged a university building early Wednesday but no one was injured.

Russian forces also shelled Kharkiv and various parts of the Kharkiv region during the night, damaging residential buildings and civilian infrastructure but causing no casualties.

On Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres plans to travel to Ukraine to attend a meeting in the western city of Lviv with Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are expected to discuss grain shipments and a possible fact-finding mission to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of over the shelling. size.

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