Crimea was hit earlier this morning by massive fresh explosions in the latest suspected Ukrainian sabotage attack on Putin’s forces.
About 2,000 people were evacuated from a nearby village after a munitions depot erupted in a gigantic fireball deep inside Russian-controlled territory.
It follows a devastating series of explosions at a Russian airbase in Crimea last week, which are said to have destroyed 20 jets and caused £1billion in damage.
Russia tried to downplay today’s explosions in the Dzhankoi district, allegedly connected to a power substation.
Officials in Putin’s puppet regional government later admitted that a “munitions explosion” took place at a “temporary” Russian military compound.
Dzhankoi is home to a major rail and road hub likely to be used as a main supply route for the front lines in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region, analysts say.
Immediately there was speculation that a top-class team of Ukrainian special forces or “partisan” resistance fighters had set off the explosions.
Kyiv does not admit responsibility, but presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called it “demilitarization in action”.
He tweeted: “A reminder: Russian-occupied Crimea is about warehouse explosions and a high risk of death for intruders and thieves.”
Meanwhile, a senior Kiev official said it was the work of “an elite Ukrainian military unit operating behind enemy lines,” according to New York Times reporter Michael Schwirtz.
The site is more than 100 miles from Ukrainian positions in Kherson, well beyond the range of US-supplied Himars missile launchers.
It was unclear how many blasts rocked the area or whether rockets or drones were used.
Telegram’s social media channels shared images of giant orange fireballs and mushroom clouds rising into the sky.
Some reports suggested that railroad cars loaded with ammunition had been attacked.
A Ukrainian report boasted: “Report from temporarily occupied Crimea – a targeted hit on a military unit in Qalay (renamed Azovske) in Dzhankoi district.
“At 07.41 they hit an ammunition depot, with the sound of explosions all over the steppe.”
Another video showed the blasts from the nearby village of Maiske, which was being evacuated as officers erected a three-mile cordon.
According to initial reports, at least two people were injured.
Sergey Aksyonov, head of the pro-Putin regime in Crimea, said on Telegram: “Details of the accident are coming out.
“So far we (have) data on two victims, one man with shrapnel wounds, one crushed by a wall.
“Fortunately her life is not in danger.”
He added that the main railway line carrying summer tourists from mainland Russia to Crimea has been halted.
Igor Girkin, a former staunch Putin commander but now an arch-critic of his war tactics, also shared images of the blasts.
He claimed it was clear there had been “another sabotage in Crimea,” likely by a kamikaze drone.
He said a power substation was “burned down” and a large ammunition depot was also blown up.
Ex-spy Girkin said: “The attacks were probably carried out by kamikaze drones, but sabotage is also possible.”
He predicted the Russian Defense Ministry would attribute the infernos to “non-compliance with fire safety regulations” to hide the shame of another successful Ukrainian attack.
And he added: “My son serves in Dzhankoi. Creepy.”
Last week, another series of explosions rocked the Saki airbase on the west coast of the Crimean peninsula.
It sent up a huge mushroom cloud as terrified sunbathers sprinted from a nearby beach.
Nearly two dozen Su-24 and Su-30 fighter jets were reduced to charred wrecks, pictures showed.
Ukraine refused to say if it was behind the attack, which if confirmed would be the first in Crimea since Putin’s annexation in 2014.
There have been unconfirmed claims of a missile attack, but other sources said it was sabotage by a team on the ground.
President Volodomyr Zelenskyy fueled the speculation with a vow: “Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give it up.”
He added: “This is just the beginning.
“Russia has turned our peninsula – which has always been and always will be one of the best places in Europe – into one of the most dangerous places.”
A smaller explosion last month at the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol was blamed on Ukrainian saboteurs using a makeshift drone.
Russia claimed the Saki explosions were caused by workers smoking in violation of fire safety regulations and denied any aircraft were damaged.
The official explanation was widely ridiculed and resurfaced today when an online prankster quipped about the Dzhankoi blasts: “No doubt another smoking incident.”
Others claimed – without any obvious evidence – that a Ukrainian Tochka missile or a special longer-range Himar artillery rocket was used.
The US-supplied Himars launchers have dramatically increased the range and accuracy of Ukrainian firepower.
The missiles were used to bomb key bridges that brought supplies from Crimea to the mainland combat zone.
Himars was also reportedly used to blow up a base of Putin’s bloodthirsty Wagner group mercenaries in the eastern Donbass region.
Their secret headquarters were targeted after a Russian “war correspondent” accidentally leaked its location online, reports say.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6008608/russia-siege-explosions-crimea-ammo-dump/ Russian forces under siege after another massive explosion ‘by a kamikaze drone’ rocks Crimea, triggering ammunition depot inferno