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Multiple explosions at Russian airbase in Crimea

Source: Meduza

Eyewitnesses in western Crimea reported a series of explosions at a military airbase on the Black Sea coast near the town of Novofedorivka. Footage shared online shows a large plume of smoke rising on the horizon from the area of the airfield. The smoke could be seen from the beaches of Yevpatoriya, almost 20 miles away.

Sources told the news outlet Baza that they heard as many as seven explosions, while eyewitnesses told Ksenia Sobchak’s Telegram channel that they neither saw nor heard any planes or missiles before the explosions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the incident was the result of munitions detonating in a storage facility near the Saki airbase and that no attack occurred. Russian-backed officials in Crimea said that at least five people were injured and that at least one person died.

Russia media outlets reported multiple explosions in Novofedorivka. Eyewitnesses told the outlet Mash that they were hearing "something that sounds like shells detonating" every minute for a time. Kommersant reported that both the Saki airbase and a nearby munitions depot were "attacked," citing a source from the Novofedorivka city administration.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk commented on the explosions in a statement on Telegram:

Today is International Indigenous People's Day, and in Ukraine, we consider Crimean Tatars, Karaims, and Krymchaks to be indigenous. Today's explosions in Novofedorivka are another reminder of who Crimea really belongs to: Ukraine!

Updates: A high-ranking Ukrainian official who has "knowledge of the situation" told The New York Times that Ukraine was responsible for the attack. Also, officials from the Russian-backed Crimean Health Ministry reported that one person died and seven people were injured, including one child.
From President Zelensky: Without taking responsibility for the explosions in Novofedorivka, Ukraine’s president said on Tuesday evening, “This war started in Crimea, and it ought to end in Crimea.”

Under wartime conditions, it is not always possible for journalists to verify official statements promptly.

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