Multiple explosions on Tuesday rocked a Russian air base in occupied Crimea — killing at least one and wounding several others, Russian authorities said.
Videos circulating on social media purported to show large explosions at a military airfield in the Saki district of Crimea, a disputed peninsula annexed by Russian forces in 2014.
Russian state media reported one death at the airfield, and at least five wounded.
“We have blasts at the airfield. All the windows are broken,” Viktoria Kazmirova, deputy head of the occupation government in Crimea, told Russian outlet TASS.
Local residents reported hearing 12 explosions coming from the base. Russian officials said the explosions were caused by the detonation of several ammunition stores.
The base is home to a Russian naval strike aircraft, as well as a training ground for Russian pilots.
Ukrainian social media was abuzz with speculation that the Ukrainian military had struck the base, but Ukrainian officials did not confirm any attack.
If the explosions were indeed the result of a Ukrainian strike, it would mark the first major strike against Russian forces in Crimea — which has served as a base for the Russian Black Sea fleet even before the 2014 annexation — and a significant escalation in the fighting.
Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian governor of Crimea, seemed to indicate Tuesday that there had been no civilian casualties.
“Ambulance crews are working on site,” he said. “It is too early to talk about victims.”
“Among the civilian population, nobody has been admitted to hospital for medical treatment,” he added.
However, early reports TASS stated that one child had been wounded in the explosions.
Russia has previously warned that any attack on Crimea would be seen as an escalation and could provoke further attacks on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
With Post wires
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