Massive explosions and fires ripped Crimea on Tuesday, forcing evacuation of 3,000 residents as the Ukraine war appears to be spreading to the peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014.
The Russian Defense Ministry blamed “sabotage” for explosions at a military warehouse near Dzhankoya. Power lines, a power plant, a railway track, as well as a number of residential buildings were also damaged, the ministry said in a statement obtained by the Russian news outlet Kommersant. The explosion was described as a fun.
No serious injuries were reported. Another fire was reported at a power substation, but officials did not indicate whether it was related to the ammunition blast.
“We are in a state of emergency,” said Sergey Aksenov, the Russian leader of the Crimean administration.
Ukraine presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak did not claim Ukraine responsibility for the incident but tweeted that “Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves.”
Last week, the Russian military blamed a series of explosions at the Saki air base on an accidental detonation of munitions there, but the incident appeared to be a Ukrainian attack. Kyiv said the explosions destroyed nine Russian airplanes.
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►More than 1,350 dead bodies of Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian occupiers have been found in the Kyiv region, regional Police Chief Andrii Niebytov said.
►The Russian Federal Security Service accused Ukraine of blowing up power transmission towers three times this month near a nuclear power plant in the western Russia city of Kursk.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his allies “the most advanced types of weapons,” vowing to expand military cooperation with countries across Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Putin, speaking at an arms show, applauded his military’s actions in Ukraine while also touting the key role Russian arms exports play in the development of a “multipolar word,” the term used by the Kremlin to describe its efforts to offset what it perceives as US global domination.
“We are ready to offer our allies and partners the most advanced types of weapons: from firearms, armor and artillery to warplanes and drones,” Putin said.
Despite the Russian leader’s claims of advanced weapons, experts have said that the Russian military is performing much worse than expected in the Ukrainian invasion, and the UK Defense Ministry recently said it’s highly likely that Russia is deploying “unreliable and unpredictable” Soviet-era mines .
More than 1,000 Ukrainian children have been killed or wounded as Russian troops continue pounding cities and towns with a barrage of missiles, often from batteries out of reach of the Ukrainian military’s weaponry.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor said Monday that at least 361 Ukrainian children have died and 711 have been injured.
Russia has launched thousands of missile strikes, many of them relying on guidance systems dating back to the Soviet era. Authorities in Ukraine say the blind missile launches and Russia’s indifference to the damage across Ukraine has cost thousands of civilian lives.
The deaths of children have been noticed in Moscow. Former Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova made global news recently when she was arrested for a street protest. In a Russian court last week, she held up a sign that said, “May the murdered kids haunt your dreams tonight.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism