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A Russian ammunition storage unit in northern Crimea has exploded, Russia’s Protection Ministry mentioned, injuring no less than two folks and prompting the evacuation of hundreds of close by residents. The ministry blamed the blast on sabotage.

Native information organizations, in the meantime, reported a second explosion on August 16 at a close-by electrical substation within the Dzhankoy district of the Russian-occupied Black Sea peninsula.

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It was unclear if the 2 incidents, which occurred across the similar time, had been associated.

Ukrainian officers averted publicly or immediately claiming duty for the incidents however some appeared to counsel Kyiv was concerned.

Crimea was captured and annexed by Russia in 2014 and continues to be internationally acknowledged as Ukrainian territory, however Moscow has threatened extreme reprisals for any assaults on the peninsula.

The New York Occasions quoted an unnamed senior Ukrainian official as saying an elite Ukrainian navy unit that was working behind enemy strains was answerable for the explosions.

The top of Zelenskiy’s workplace, Andriy Yermak, wrote on Twitter that “the Ukrainian Armed Forces proceed the filigree ‘demilitarization’ operation to completely rid our land of Russian invaders.”

“Our troopers are the very best sponsors of a superb temper,” Yermak added, “Crimea is Ukraine.”

Mykhaylo Podolyak, one other prime Zelenskiy aide, mentioned on Twitter that thenewest blasts had been a reminder that the “Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses, explosions and a excessive threat of demise for invaders and thieves.”

“What’s stolen doesn’t convey prosperity,” Podolyak later informed Ukrainian tv.

Video and images posted on Telegram and different social media confirmed a collection of blasts and explosions within the district, which isn’t removed from the executive border with the mainland Ukrainian area of Kherson, now occupied by Russian forces.

Russia’s Protection Ministry mentioned in a press release that the explosion occurred at a short lived storage facility for ammunition. The ministry later blamed the blast on unidentified saboteurs.

“On the morning of August 16, on account of sabotage, a navy warehouse close to the village of Dzhankoy was broken. Quite a few civilian amenities, together with energy strains, an influence plant, a railway monitor, in addition to quite a few residential buildings, had been broken,” the ministry mentioned in a press release.

“There aren’t any severe casualties. Essential measures are being taken to remove the results of sabotage,” it added.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russia-appointed governor for the peninsula, mentioned two folks had been injured and that railway site visitors had been disrupted. About 3,000 folks had been additionally evacuated from a close-by village, he mentioned.

Refat Chubarov, a distinguished chief of the Crimean Tatar neighborhood, additionally mentioned in a submit on Fb that the explosion occurred at an ammunition depot.

Two native Crimea information organizations, Kryminform and Crimean Wind, reported {that a} transformer at {an electrical} substation had additionally exploded or caught fireplace.

Russia’s Power Ministry was quoted by information companies as confirming a hearth on the Crimea substation, however mentioned it had been contained. No trigger was given.

The incidents got here roughly per week after a collection of explosions tore by way of Russia’s Saky air base in a western district of Crimea, destroying quite a few Russian warplanes.

There’s been no affirmation as to what brought about these explosions, although satellite tv for pc imagery confirmed in depth destruction on the base. Most observers counsel Ukrainian forces had been accountable however Kyiv has not claimed any duty.

Mykhaylo Podolyak, a prime aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, mentioned in a submit to Twitter that the newest blasts had been a reminder that the “Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses, explosions and a excessive threat of demise for invaders and thieves.”

“What’s stolen doesn’t convey prosperity,” Podolyak later informed Ukrainian tv.

The Dzhankoy district is about 50 kilometers from the Russian-occupied area of Kherson in southern Ukraine.

With reporting by Crimea.Realities, a mission of RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, and AP

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