“Accidents” continue to haunt Russian military facilities

At least two people were injured by a blast at an ammunition depot in the north of the Russian-controlled Crimean peninsula on Tuesday, Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian head of Crimea’s administration said on social media.

He added that the five-kilometre zone around the site of detonation has been cordoned off and the people who live there are being evacuated. The explosion also disrupted trains in the region.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, no “serious” casualties had occurred in the Mayskoye explosion. Moscow called the incident a “sabotage”.

Later on, local authorities blamed saboteurs for orchestrating a series of explosions at an ammunition depot in Russian-annexed Crimea, a rare admission that armed groups loyal to Ukraine are damaging military logistics and supply lines on the territory it controls.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Russian news agency reported a fire at a transformer substation near the town of Dzhankoi in Crimea, 20 km away.

More explosions

Also on Tuesday, several explosions were heard at a military air base in the village of Hvardiiske, not far from Simferopol, Russian media Kommersant reported.


Kyiv tauntingly hinted at involvement which, if true, could show the new capability to strike deeper into Russian territory, potentially changing the dynamic of the six-month conflict.

After Tuesday's new blasts, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak and chief of staff Andriy Yermak both exulted on social media at "demilitarisation": an apparent mocking reference to the word Russia uses to justify its invasion.

“A reminder: Crimea (as a) normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouse explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves. Demilitarisation in action,” Mr Podolyak tweeted.

Russian control

Crimea, which has been under Russian control since 2014 even as most of the world recognizes it as Ukrainian territory, has been a major staging post for the military campaign Russia launched in Ukraine on February 24.

Ukraine has not officially confirmed or denied responsibility for reported explosions in Crimea in recent days.

Last week, a series of explosions at a military air base in the city of Novofedorivka, on Crimea’s western coast, appeared to cause extensive damage and destroy several Russian military aircraft, according to commercial satellite photos. Russia called the explosion an accident.