An infrared view of the Saky military airfield (Crimea) after an attack carried out on August 9, 2022. Here, August 10, 2022. MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES / VIA REUTERS This time it’s a certainty: the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014 and remained away from the fighting since the launch of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, is in the sights of the kyiv army. After a first attack on August 9 on the military airfield of Saky, located in the west of the peninsula, violent explosions shook, on Tuesday August 16, a Russian base installed in the district of Djankoï, in the north-east of the region forcibly attached to the Russian Federation eight years ago. According to images posted on social networks, a large ammunition depot exploded early in the morning in the village of Maïskoye, causing damage over several hundred meters around. According to Sergueï Axionov, the governor of the “Republic of Crimea”, the attack injured two people and forced the authorities to evacuate more than 3,000 inhabitants. The railway line serving the peninsula from Russia, located nearby, was also damaged and passenger and freight traffic was interrupted. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers In Crimea, explosions on a Russian base embarrassing for the Kremlin While they had denied any Ukrainian attack on the Saky airbase, ensuring that it was an accidental fire, the Russians attributed the explosion of the Jankoi ammunition depot to “an act of sabotage”, without giving further details. “The necessary measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of sabotage,” the Russian Defense Ministry said, referring to damaged railway tracks and electrical installations. For its part, kyiv confirmed the explosion but did not claim responsibility for the operation. Theoretically, the sites targeted in Crimea for ten days are beyond the reach of the Ukrainian army. Both the Saky air base and the Djankoï depot are located more than 200 kilometers from the front. Far too far for the US-delivered Himars multiple rocket launchers, which were supplied with projectiles no further than 80 kilometers. Washington reiterated that it had not given Ukraine ATACMS ballistic missiles, with a theoretical range of 300 kilometers, to avoid any risk of escalation with Moscow. “Crimea, a very important logistical node for the Russians” If the hypotheses of attacks by drones or infiltrated special forces do not appeal to experts, that of Ukrainian-made missiles “boosted” by allied countries is favored by a part of the military community. Some mention in particular the existence of “two or three launchers” produced by Yuzhnoye Design Office, a Ukrainian aerospace industrialist, which would be capable of firing ballistic missiles equipped with “friendly” guidance systems. You have 69.16% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.
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