A dozen powerful blasts rocked a Russian air base in Russian-held Crimea on Tuesday in what may mark an escalation of the war in Ukraine. At least one person was killed and several others were wounded, authorities admitted, after initially denying that any damage had been done or casualties caused. Multiple conflicting reports have emerged about the cause of the explosions, with the Russian Defence Ministry initially claiming the explosions were a result of an accident while refuelling aircraft. Speculation that Ukraine could be behind the attack using long-range missiles has swirled, with Kyiv-based security analyst @jimmysecuk saying: “If the Ukrainians have a weapon – any weapon – that can reach out and touch Russian targets within a 300km range from the current frontlines, a vast, vast amount of territory they previous assumed safe – even from HIMARS/M270 – is now not. And they will be forced to react.
“So for weapons nerds, as a matter of general interest, we obviously want to know exactly what it was they used.
“From a Russian perspective, all that matters is this capability exists. And it will make them incredibly, incredibly nervous.”
Adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, denied responsibility when asked by the Dozhd online television channel whether Kyiv was behind the attack, he replied: “Of course not. What do we have to do with this?”
But this denial contradicts a Ukrainian official who on Tuesday told the New York Times that the assault was carried out with a “device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture”.
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