The Sightings Of Russian Air Base in Crimea After the Explosion

The Sightings Of Russian Air Base in Crimea After the Explosion
The Sightings Of Russian Air Base in Crimea After the Explosion

Crimea - The Russian air base in Crimea was badly damaged by the explosion that occurred there a few days ago. A number of Russian warplanes were also destroyed. This can be seen from a number of satellite photos released by Planet Labs based in the United States. It also refutes Russia's denial that one of its planes was damaged.

Saky Air Base in the west of Russian-controlled Crimea was rocked by a series of explosions on Tuesday, killing one person. Ukraine has not yet claimed responsibility - but this new evidence points to the possibility of a targeted attack.

Quoted from the BBC, Thursday (11/8/2022), the photo shows the airbase's runway looks intact, but at least eight aircraft appear damaged or destroyed with several craters visible. Photos also show large areas of scorched earth left over from the erupting fires.

Before Attack

After Attack

Most of the damaged or destroyed planes were in specific areas of the base where large numbers of planes were parked out in the open - away from hangar covers. Two types of fighter jets, including the Su-24M, were damaged in the explosion, along with two nearby buildings.

How the base was damaged, or what, remains unconfirmed. William Alberque, of the defense think tank IISS, told the BBC the two buildings may have been used to temporarily store weapons, and would be subject to maximum impact on fighter jets parked nearby.

The base's runway, and the permanent weapons storage area further away from the aircraft, appear to have been left untouched. Alberque said it was likely that cluster munitions had been used, but that Ukraine did not have the type of missiles needed to carry out this kind of attack.

If Ukraine is responsible, he suspects they are using reused S-300 missiles, usually for surface-to-air attacks, or Neptune anti-ship missiles. But Louise Jones, head of intelligence at McKenzie Intelligence, said the satellite images weren't convincing enough.

Russia itself blamed the blast on this latter option and said fire safety rules were violated at the base. Read also: Explosion at Crimea Air Base, Russian Military Says Before and after images from Planet Labs, which monitors hundreds of satellite feeds over Ukraine, are the first independent confirmation that the base may have been damaged.

To date, details on the extent of the explosion's impact are scarce. Ukraine has not yet claimed responsibility and its defense minister has suggested reckless Russian soldiers are to blame.

The Ukrainian air force previously claimed about a dozen Russian warplanes were destroyed. Meanwhile Britain's Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, suggested the fact that there were two separate explosions indicated an attack rather than an accident. He also defended Ukraine's right to target Crimea.

After Tuesday's explosions, President Volodymyr Zelensky dedicated his evening speech to Crimea and stated that he believed Ukraine must retake the peninsula before the war could end.

Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, after the region - which has a majority Russian-speaking population - voted to join Russia in a referendum deemed illegal by the global community.

The vote was held in haste after unmarked Russian troops took control of several strategic locations around the peninsula. Russia's annexation came after Ukraine's Russia-backed president was ousted after months of pro-European protests. On February 24 this year eight years after the annexation of Crimea - Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, using Crimea as a springboard to move Russian troops deeper into Ukraine.

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