Yesterday, Russia acknowledged for the first time acts of sabotage carried out by Ukrainians, and not only in the rear of the theaters of war such as the province of Kherson, where guerrilla actions have taken place. An attack on an arsenal in the town of Maiske, in the north of the Crimean peninsula, resulted in the evacuation of about 2,000 people within a radius of 5 kilometers. Another apparent action of the same type, a fire in an electrical transformer, paralyzed the railway that leads to Russia through the bridge over the Kerch Strait. Local authorities declared a state of emergency. A third, unconfirmed incident reportedly occurred at the Havardyiske air base, just north of the Crimean capital Sinferopol. Residents quoted by the Russian newspaper Kommersant spoke of several explosions and dense plumes of smoke yesterday morning. Crimean authorities neither reported nor commented. According to the cited sources, it would have been investigated that it was an attack with a drone. The Ukrainians blew up high-voltage towers at the Kursk nuclear power plant, according to Russian media citing the FSB If confirmed, it would be the second attack on a Russian military base in Crimea, after the one that destroyed nine fighter planes on August 9 in the Novofiodorovka air base base, near Saky. On that occasion Kyiv did not want to acknowledge the authorship. Yesterday, on the other hand, the presidential adviser Mijailo Podoliak practically assumed the sabotage in the Maiske powder keg by saying in a message that it was about the “demilitarization” of Crimea. Using the same term with which Vladimir Putin indicated his objectives in Ukraine at the beginning of the invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky’s chief of staff, Adryi Yarmouk, wrote on Telegram that “the demilitarization operation, in the style of the Ukrainian armed forces, it will continue until the complete de-occupation of the territory of Ukraine”. A senior official told The New York Times that it was all the work of an infiltrated elite unit. Also read AGENCIES The Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia in 2014 and, at the time of the beginning of the invasion last February, it served to occupy a large part of the south of the country, from the city of Kherson to Mariúpol. Russia has several air bases in Crimea and the main base of the Black Sea fleet, in Sevastopol. Ukraine would be bringing the war before the Russian public by attacking Crimea, a great summer resort. It must be remembered that on August 9 Zelensky stated that the war in his country “began in Crimea and must end with Crimea” liberated. That same day the attack on the Novofiodorovka air base was known. Moscow claimed that a powder keg had exploded, due to reckless driving or some such excuse. Yesterday, on the other hand, the Ministry of Defense spoke in a statement that a fire had broken out in a “temporary ammunition warehouse” “as a result of sabotage.” The allusion to the temporality of the arsenal suggests that it was weapons destined for southern Ukraine. The ministry itself announced that the explosions began around six in the morning and lasted for several hours. Images on social networks showed artillery ammunition projected on a road by successive explosions. Sergei Aksionov, head of the Crimean administration, said several residential buildings were burned or damaged and two men were injured, one seriously. Witnesses quoted by a Russian newspaper speak of another Ukrainian attack on an air base after the one on August 9. Three hours earlier there had been another fire, very close, in an electrical transformer, which paralyzed the railway. Travelers bound for the interior of the peninsula were taken in thirty buses. Crimea has always been a summer destination for Russians. If Ukraine is trying to open a front in the Russian rear, its objective seems clear beyond weakening the supply of Russian troops in Kherson. The explosions at the air base days ago, and the columns of smoke, visible in the distance, sent vacationers fleeing directly from the beaches to the highways. With that attack and yesterday’s, Kyiv could be taking the war directly to the Russian public. Also read Agencies In a place like Crimea in the middle of summer this can be obvious. But yesterday it became known that the Ukrainian sabotage actions had reached deep into Russian territory. Months ago there was some news of attacks on railway lines across the border in northern Ukraine, near the Russian city of Belgorod, but yesterday two Russian media, the RIA Novosti agency and Kommersant, echoed a report of the FSB (former KGB) according to which on August 4, 9 and 12 “Ukrainian saboteurs” blew up six high-voltage towers connected to the Kursk nuclear power plant. This Russian city is located just over 200 kilometers from Kharkiv.
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