Satellite images of a Russian base in Ukraine’s Crimea show extensive damage and several destroyed Russian warplanes. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the explosions, but new satellite images suggest it may have been a targeted attack, according to the BBC. A Planet Labs PBC satellite image shows destroyed Russian aircraft at the Saka Air Base in Crimea, Ukraine. Photo – AP/TASR On Tuesday, a series of explosions took place at the Russian military airport Saky near Novofedorivka in western Crimea, in which one person died. Satellite images from the American company Planet Labs show that large parts of the airport area are burned. The base’s main runways appeared to be intact, but at least eight aircraft were apparently damaged or destroyed. Several craters can be seen in the image. Most of them are located in the part of the base where the planes were parked in the open air. The “before” and “after” images produced by Planet Labs, which monitors hundreds of satellite images over Ukraine, are the first independent confirmation that the base may have been damaged. Details of the extent of the explosions have so far been limited. However, it is still unclear how and with what the base was damaged. Russia insists that the explosions were caused by the explosion of ammunition in a warehouse due to non-compliance with fire safety rules. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility, and its Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has suggested that careless Russian soldiers may be to blame. “I think the Russian soldiers at this airbase broke a very well-known rule: don’t smoke in dangerous places,” he said. The Ukrainian General Staff reported nine Russian planes destroyed in the last 24 hours. Russia has denied that any plane was damaged. New images suggest that’s not true. (bbc, Czech)
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