Aug 16, 2022 - World

Explosions rock Russian ammunition depot in Crimea


Ukrainian artillery personnel in Kherson, Ukraine, on July 15. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Russian ammunition depot in Crimea was rocked by explosions on Tuesday, injuring two people and spurring the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents.

Why it matters: This is the second time in a week that Russia's war in Ukraine has reverberated through Crimea. Last week, a series of explosions at a Russian air base in southwest Crimea destroyed several Russian planes.

  • Ukraine has not officially claimed or denied responsibility for the explosions, but an unnamed Ukrainian official told the Washington Post the attack was carried out by special forces operating behind the Russian lines, Axios' Dave Lawler writes.

The big picture: Russia's Defense Ministry acknowledged the explosions in a statement Tuesday, noting that there were no serious injuries and blaming the incident on an "act of sabotage," AP reported.

  • The statement added that fires in the area damaged power lines, railroad tracks and apartment buildings.
  • "Necessary measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of sabotage," the statement added, but it did not elaborate on the extent of the ammunition or equipment damaged, per CNN.
  • The Dzhankoi district of Crimea, where the explosions were heard, is about 30 miles from Ukraine's Russian-occupied southern region of Kherson, per AP.

State of play: Crimea's Kremlin-installed leader Sergei Aksyonov wrote in a Telegram post that more than 3,000 people were evacuated from the area. He added that two people had suffered minor injuries.

  • Ukraine hasn't officially claimed involvement or responsibility in the attack. However, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak took to Twitter to call the explosions "demilitarization in action."
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