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Explosives Hit Russian Ammunition Depot

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Smoke rises above the area following an alleged explosion in the village of Maiskoye in the Dzhankoi district, Crimea on August 16. | Image by Reuters)

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Explosions and fires ripped through an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea on August 16, the second suspected Ukrainian attack in less than a week.

Russia blamed the Mayskoye explosions on an act of sabotage but did not identify the perpetrators, Al Jazeera reported.

In 2014, Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has launched attacks against Ukraine from the region during the nearly six-month conflict.

Ukrainian operatives allegedly blew up six high-voltage transmission towers in Russia’s Kursk region, close to Ukraine, according to Russian news outlets.

“In the Kurchatov district of the Kursk region, Ukrainian saboteurs on August 4, 9, and 12 blew up six towers of high-voltage power lines (110 kilovolts, 330 kilovolts, and 750 kilovolts) transmitting electricity from the Kursk NPP to industrial and transport facilities, life support and social infrastructure, and households, as well as to neighboring regions,” Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) stated. “The saboteurs’ actions resulted in the disruption of the technological process of the power plant’s operation.”

Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, reported that two people were injured, over 3,000 people were evacuated from two villages, and railway traffic was halted.

Russia’s response to the strike was swift and brutal, and President Vladimir Putin’s forces increased shelling and missile attacks on southern Ukrainian towns and villages. To end the fighting, the Kremlin demanded that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

In contrast, Ukraine vowed to drive Moscow’s forces from the Black Sea peninsula, reported the Associated Press.

Ukraine has not publicly claimed responsibility for any explosions, including the one that destroyed nine Russian planes at another Crimean air base last week, reported CBS News.

If Ukrainian forces were behind the explosions in Crimea, that means the war had escalated significantly, CBS reported. Such attacks could also indicate that Ukrainian operatives were capable of infiltrating deep into Russian-occupied territory, supplementing the force of their impact on Moscow’s front line.

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