Russia delivered hammer blow as Saki Air Base footage exposes severe explosion damage

Crimea: Saki Air Base heavily damaged by cruise missile

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Saki air base in Crimea, deep within Russian-controlled territory, was rocked by a number of large explosions that Moscow has denied were not the result of a Ukrainian surprise attack. Footage from the base has emerged showing the scale of the damage left behind by the incident. 

The footage, which appears to have been captured on the airbase, shows the burning wrecks of military equipment.

Panning around the scene, the video shows the smouldering remains of numerous vehicles.

Widespread damage can be seen on surrounding buildings with little left standing after blasts, which Kyiv has denied any responsibility for.

A senior Ukrainian official suggested a series of explosions at the Russian air base in Crimea could have been the work of partisan saboteurs.

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The adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky also suggested Russian incompetence as a possible cause of Tuesday’s blasts.

They killed one civilian and injured eight, according to the health department in Russia-annexed Crimea.

Huge plumes of smoke could be seen in videos posted on social media from Crimea, a holiday destination for many Russians. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and used it in February as one of the launchpads for its invasion.

Mykhailo Podolyak, asked by the Dozhd online television channel whether Kyiv was responsible, replied: “Of course not.

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What do we have to do with this?” “People who are living under occupation understand that the occupation is coming to an end,” Podolyak said.

Moscow said the explosions, at least 12 according to witnesses, were detonations of stored ammunition, not the result of any attack.

Zelensky did not directly mention the blasts in his daily video address on Tuesday but said it was right that people were focusing on Crimea.

“We will never give it up … the Black Sea region cannot be safe while Crimea is occupied,” he said, repeating his government’s position that Crimea would have to be returned to Ukraine.

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There were lingering concerns about the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine after each side accused the other of shelling in recent days.

It was vital for the Kyiv Government to regain control of the plant in time for winter, Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power firm Energoatom said in an interview with Reuters.

Last week’s Russian shelling had damaged three lines that connect the plant to the Ukrainian grid, he said. Russia wanted to connect the facility to its grid, Kotin said.

He said “the risk is very high” of shelling hitting containers storing radioactive material.

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