A pillar of black smoke rose over the village of Hvardiiske outside the city of Simferopol in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea after powerful blasts rocked a Russian military air base on Aug. 16, Russian newspaper Kommersant has reported.
According to the newspaper, the Russian invaders are “checking the theory that a small drone attacked the ammunition depot.”
Other blasts thundered over Russian-occupied Crimea earlier on Aug. 16. As reported, a Russian military unit is on fire in the village of Azovske outside the town of Dzhankoy, as well as a transformer substation in Dzhankoy.
Russia’s Defense Ministry declared that “the detonation of several aviation munitions” had allegedly taken place at the airbase, but that no aircraft had been destroyed.
In fact, later satellite imagery of the base showed around a dozen destroyed aircraft and widespread destruction across the air base – including three huge craters that one expert estimated to be 25 meters in diameter.
Later, the Russian occupation authorities said one person had been killed and another 14 sought medical assistance after several powerful blasts at the airbase.
A huge line of cars formed at the Crimean side of the Kerch Bridge, which the Russians illegally constructed between Ukraine’s Crimea and Russia, as Russian tourists fled the peninsula.