A representative of U.S. President Joe Biden's administration stated that the White House does not object to the Ukrainian army targeting structures in occupied Crimea, U.S-based political news outlet Politico reported on Aug. 18.
“We don't select targets, of course, and everything we've provided is for self-defense purposes,” the unnamed White House official said.
“Any target they choose to pursue on sovereign Ukrainian soil is by definition self-defense.”
Kurt Volker, former special representative of the U.S. in Ukraine, stressed that the strikes on the Russian military targets in Crimea are no different from the hits near Kyiv.
"Russian forces have no business being there, and attacking Russian forces in Crimea is no different than attacking them around Kyiv or in Kherson or eastern Ukraine," Volker said.
Residents of Kerch on the eastern tip of the peninsula heard loud bangs resembling explosions on the evening of Aug. 18. Residents of Sevastopol also reported explosions near the Belbek airfield.
Explosions were also heard in Russian-occupied Crimea on Aug. 16. In the morning, an ammunition depot exploded near the village of Azovske in Dzhankoy District, and a fire broke out at an electricity transformer station in Dzhankoy itself. Later, explosions hit an air base near the Crimean capital Simferopol.
Russia blames the explosions on “accidents,” but the evidence points to these being attacks by Ukraine – either by long-range missiles or rockets or, as some Ukrainian officials have hinted anonymously, by Ukrainian special operations sabotage groups working behind enemy lines.
Earlier, a series of blasts rocked the Novofedorivka airfield near the resort town of Saky, in Russia-occupied Crimea, on Aug. 9. Russia claims “several aviation munitions detonated,” causing an “accident” that killed one person and injured 14. At the same time, the Russian side did not report the destruction of any military equipment.
Later satellite imagery showed that at least a dozen Russian warplanes had in fact been destroyed.