Russia heats up as Ukraine war conscripts see barracks destroyed | World | News


The wooden barracks in Dolgoprudny, located about 20 km from the center of Moscow, are believed to have housed soldiers of Russia’s 4th Air Defense Brigade before a massive fire broke out in the middle of the night, destroying the building. The blaze is reported to have spread far before the Russian  military and emergency services were eventually unable to extinguish the flames.

Footage of the blaze was shared on Russian Telegram channels showing the night sky being lit up by the huge fire.

Some 50 people are reported to have been forced to evacuate as the fire took hold with no reports of casualties so far.

It comes after a number of mystery blasts struck military facilities in Crimea in recent days, while on Wednesday a fire broke out in a fuel depot in the Russian port of Taganroska.

One person was killed on Tuesday when a Russian air base near seaside resorts in the annexed Crimean peninsula was rocked by blasts that Moscow said were detonations of stored ammunition, not the result of any attack.

Witnesses said they had heard at least 12 explosions around 3:20 p.m. local time (1220 GMT) from the Saky air base near Novofedorivka on the west coast of the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 and used in February as one of the launchpads for its invasion.

Crimea, a holiday destination for many Russians, has so far been spared the bombardment and artillery combat that other areas of eastern and southern Ukraine have suffered.

Russia’s defence ministry was adamant the “detonation of several aviation ammunition stores” had caused an explosion, and initially said no one had been harmed. It said there had been no attack and no aviation equipment had been damaged.

Asked whether Ukraine was taking responsibility for the blasts, presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak told the Dozhd online television channel: “Of course not. What do we have to do with this?” Moscow could accuse Kyiv of crossing a red line if Ukraine were to acknowledge it had attacked territory that Russia sees as its own.

Ukraine’s defence ministry earlier issued a statement in a heavily suggestive tone reminiscent of its response to unexplained blasts on Russian territory, saying it “once again draws attention to fire safety rules”.

The Russian governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said a five-kilometre (three-mile) exclusion zone had been established around the air base, which is close to the seaside resorts of Novofedorivka and Saky.

Numerous videos taken from beaches were posted on social media, showing huge plumes of smoke in the distance.

Novofedorivka and Saky are around 30 miles north of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which Moscow leased from Kyiv for decades before seizing and annexing the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, in a move not recognised by most other countries.





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