Explosions rock Crimea in suspected Ukrainian attack

Aug 15, 2022, 12:09 PM | Updated: Aug 16, 2022, 5:24 pm
Smoke rises over the site of explosion at an ammunition storage of Russian army near the village of...

Smoke rises over the site of explosion at an ammunition storage of Russian army near the village of Mayskoye, Crimea, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. Explosions and fires ripped through an ammunition depot in Russian-occupied Crimea on Tuesday in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week, forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 people. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Explosions and fires ripped through an ammunition depot in Russian-occupied Crimea on Tuesday in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week, forcing the evacuation of more than 3,000 people.

Russia blamed the blasts in the village of Mayskoye on an “act of sabotage,” without naming the perpetrators.

Separately, the Russian business newspaper Kommersant quoted residents as saying plumes of black smoke also rose over an air base in Crimea’s Gvardeyskoye.

Ukraine stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for any of the blasts, including those that destroyed nine Russian planes at another Crimean air base last week. Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against Ukraine in the war that began nearly six months ago.

If Ukrainian forces were behind the explosions, that would represent a significant escalation in the war. Such attacks could also indicate that Ukrainian operatives are able to penetrate deeply into Russian-occupied territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy alluded to Ukrainian attacks behind enemy lines when he included individuals “who oppose the occupiers in their rear” in a list of people he thanked for supporting the country’s war effort.

In a video address Tuesday night, he also warned people not go near Russian military installations and storage sites for ammunition and equipment.

In another reported act of sabotage, Russia’s Tass news service quoted the FSB security agency as saying Ukrainian operatives blew up six high-voltage transmission towers earlier this month in Russia’s Kursk region, close to Ukraine.

The Kremlin has demanded that Kyiv recognize Crimea as part of Russia as a condition for ending the fighting, while Ukraine has vowed to drive Moscow’s forces from the peninsula on the Black Sea.

Videos posted on social media showed thick columns of smoke rising over raging flames in Mayskoye, and a series of explosions could be heard. The Russian Defense Ministry said a power plant, electrical lines, railroad tracks and apartment buildings were damaged.

“We came out to take a look and saw clouds of smoke coming from the cowshed where the military warehouses are,” said resident Maksim Moldovskiy. “We stayed there until about 7-8 a.m. Everything was exploding — flashes, fragments, debris falling on us. Then the emergency guys came and said they were evacuating everybody.”

Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said two people were injured and more than 3,000 evacuated from two villages.

“The detonations are rather strong. Ammunition is strewn all over the ground,” he said, adding that several homes burned down.

In what may have been retaliation for the attacks in Crimea, Russian warplanes fired missiles at a military airfield in Zhytomyr, 87 miles (140 kilometers) west of Kyiv, damaging a runway and vehicles, Ukrainian officials reported.

Crimea is a popular summer destination for Russian tourists, and last week’s explosions at Crimea’s Saki air base sent sunbathers on beaches fleeing as flames and pillars of smoke rose over the horizon.

Ukrainian officials warned Tuesday that Crimea would not be spared the ravages of war.

Rather than a travel destination, “Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouse explosions and a high risk of death for invaders and thieves,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter.

Russia blamed last week’s explosions on an accidental detonation of munitions, but satellite photos and other evidence — including the dispersed blast sites — pointed to a Ukrainian attack, perhaps with anti-ship missiles, military analysts said.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said in an intelligence update that vessels in Russia’s Black Sea Fleet are in an “extremely defensive posture” in the waters off Crimea, with ships barely venturing out of sight of the coastline. Russia’s flagship Moskva went down in the Black Sea in April, and last month Ukrainian forces retook strategic Snake Island.

The Russian fleet’s “limited effectiveness undermines Russia’s overall invasion strategy,” the British said. “This means Ukraine can divert resources to press Russian ground forces elsewhere.”

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu charged that in addition to supplying arms to Ukraine, Western allies have provided detailed intelligence and instructors to help Ukraine operate weapons that can hit deep in occupied territory.

“Western intelligence agencies not only have provided target coordinates for launching strikes, but Western specialists also have overseen the input of those data into weapons systems,” Shoigu said.

In other developments:

— A U.N.-chartered ship loaded with Ukrainian grain set out for the hunger-stricken Horn of Africa in the first such relief delivery of the war. The shipment was made possible by an internationally brokered deal to free up grain trapped in Ukrainian ports by the fighting and establish safe corridors through the mined water of the Black Sea.

— U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres plans to travel to Ukraine for a meeting Thursday in the western city of Lviv with Zelenskyy and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are expected to discuss the grain shipments and a possible fact-finding mission to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shelling. Guterres will also visit Odesa on Friday. During Guterres’ last trip to Ukraine, in April, Russia forces launched an airstrike on Kyiv while he was visiting the capital.

— Samantha Power, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the United States is giving more than $68 million in additional funding to the U.N. World Food Program “to purchase, move, and store up to 150,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat to help respond to the global food crisis.”

— Russian shelling killed at least two civilians in the industrial Donbas region in the east and in the city of Kharkiv in the northeast, Ukrainian authorities said.

___

Associated Press writer Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

___

Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This satellite image taken at 20:20 UTC and provided by NOAA shows Tropical Storm Orlene on Saturda...
Associated Press

Hurricane Orlene heads for Mexico’s former prison islands

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hurricane Orlene rapidly strengthened as it swirls toward Mexico’s northwest Pacific coast, with a likely close brush with former prison islands being developed by the government as an ecotourism destination. After growing into a hurricane Saturday, Orlene quickly added power, and its maximum sustained winds were up to 110 mph (175 […]
21 hours ago
Electoral workers move electronic voting machine boxes at a distribution center in Rio de Janeiro, ...
Associated Press

Brazil holds historic election with Lula against Bolsonaro

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — More than 120 million Brazilians will vote Sunday in a highly polarized election that could determine if the country returns a leftist to the helm of the world’s fourth-largest democracy or keeps the far-right incumbent in office for another four years. With polls opening at 8 a.m. Brasilia time, the […]
21 hours ago
FILE - The San Sebastian oil tanker is moored at the docks of the ISAB refinery in Priolo-Gargallo ...
Associated Press

Allies aim for risky Russian oil price cap as winter nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials celebrated in early September when top allies agreed to back an audacious, never-before-tried plan to clamp down on Vladimir Putin’s access to cash as he wages war on Ukraine. The idea sounded simple enough: The countries would pay only cut-rate prices for Russian oil. That would deprive Putin of money […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: October 2, Warsaw Uprising is crushed

Today in History Today is Sunday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2022. There are 90 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Oct. 2, 1944, German troops crushed the two-month-old Warsaw Uprising, during which a quarter of a million people had been killed. On this date: In 1869, political and spiritual […]
21 hours ago
FILE - This still image from video taken Oct. 4, 2021, and provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a...
Associated Press

Ruptured oil pipeline off California approved for repairs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Texas oil company was granted permission to repair an underwater pipeline that ruptured off the coast of Southern California a year ago, spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude, and forced beaches and fisheries to close. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the approval Friday to Amplify Energy […]
21 hours ago
Police officers fire tear gas during a soccer match at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, Ind...
Associated Press

129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. Several fights between supporters of the two rival soccer teams were reported inside the Kanjuruhan Stadium in East Java province’s Malang city after the Indonesian Premier League […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Explosions rock Crimea in suspected Ukrainian attack