Russia has played down damage from the explosions on Tuesday, which a senior Ukrainian military official has said were the result of an attack by Ukrainian forces and partisan fighters.The New York Times has reviewed satellite imagery of the Saki Air Base, collected by Planet Labs hours before and a day after the explosions.A senior Ukrainian official has said that the blasts were an attack carried out with the help of partisans, but was not more specific, and the Ukrainian military has not publicly acknowledged any involvement.
Military analysts have said that Ukraine does not have missiles that can reach the base from territory it controls, well over 100 miles away, and that Ukrainian jets would have been unlikely to penetrate that far into Russia-controlled airspace.Since seizing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, Russia has heavily militarized it, and has used it as a vital jumping-off point for military operations since its broader invasion of Ukraine on Feb.
Even so, the attack on the air base suggests that Ukrainian forces are able to carry out guerrilla operations there.A Russian missile attack on the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut has killed seven civilians and wounded six others, the prosecutor general’s office said on Thursday, the latest example of what Ukraine says is a pattern of indiscriminate attacks by Moscow on its population.President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said in an overnight speech that the best way to shorten the war was to inflict damage on Russian forces.A day after explosions ripped through a Russian air base in Crimea, a series of mysterious blasts late Wednesday hit a military airfield used by Russian forces in southeastern Belarus near the border with Ukraine.The Belarusian account playing down the episode came the same week that Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that the blasts on Tuesday at the Saki Air Base in Crimea were caused by the explosion of stockpiled ordnance for warplanes at the base.Satellite images of the Crimean base appear to show at least eight wrecked warplanes on the tarmac at Saki, indicating an expensive and serious blow to the Russian military in contradiction to the Kremlin’s account.Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, on Thursday mocked the Russian and Belarusian accident claims, posting on Twitter that the “epidemic of technical accidents at military airfields of Crimea and Belarus should be considered” by the Russian military “as a warning: forget about Ukraine, take off the uniform and leave.”.A senior Ukrainian official said his country’s forces were responsible for the explosions at the Russian base in Crimea, but Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the episodes in either Crimea or Belarus.An aide to the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who lives in exile in Lithuania, said there had been at least eight explosions at the Zyabrovka military airfield, but other reports on social media put their number at four and said they had been accompanied by bright flashes around midnight Wednesday.
Lukashenko, has allowed Russian jets and missiles stationed on its territory to attack Ukraine, but has resisted pressure from Moscow to deploy its own troops in support of Russian forces fighting inside Ukraine.The Ukrainian general staff said last month that the airfield in Zyabrovka, a Soviet-era base near the city of Gomel, had been taken over by Russian forces and was “fully controlled by the Russians,” despite Mr.
General Gromov, however, estimated last month that it was unlikely that the Belarusian military would join Russian forces in what President Vladimir V.The United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, said on Thursday that he was “gravely concerned” about increasing hostilities in and around the facility, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which Russian forces seized in March soon after launching their full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.
“I am calling on the military forces of the Russian Federation and Ukraine to immediately cease all military activities in the immediate vicinity of the plant and not to target its facilities or surroundings.”.Ukrainian officials say that Russian forces have launched missiles from inside the grounds of the vast plant and targeted the city of Nikopol on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River, knowing that Ukrainian forces cannot return fire without risking hitting a reactor.
Putin, her lawyer said Thursday.Britain said on Thursday that it would provide Ukraine with additional multiple-launch rocket systems and long-range missiles, adding to Kyiv’s growing arsenal of sophisticated Western-supplied weapons that experts say have helped dent Russia’s military advantage in the war.“This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery,” Ben Wallace, Britain’s defense secretary, said in a statement.The announcement came on the same day as Britain co-hosted a meeting of defense ministers from 17 allied nations to discuss expanding military aid to Ukraine.
Addressing the gathering in Copenhagen via video link, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine pleaded for more weapons and ammunition for his country’s forces.Explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea this week, and on Thursday at a base in Belarus that has been used by Moscow’s troops, have raised questions over whether Ukraine is using long-range Western weapons to strike Russian forces away from the front lines or outside its territory
Ukraine has not commented on the explosions in Belarus
A senior Ukrainian official has said that a domestically manufactured weapon was used to strike the base in Crimea, although the government has not officially claimed responsibility for those blasts
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