Ukrainian special forces struck the Russian air base in occupied Crimea. The Washington Post writes about this with reference to an unnamed Ukrainian official. The authors of the material believe that this event will lead to an escalation of the conflict.
A senior Ukrainian military official with knowledge of the situation said that Ukrainian forces were behind the attack. “This was an air base from which planes regularly took off for attacks against our forces in the southern theater,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military matters. The official would not disclose the type of weapon used in the attack, saying only that “a device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture was used.”
A Ukrainian attack on Russian forces in the Crimean Peninsula would represent a significant escalation in the war and an embarrassment for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who often speaks of the territory, which he illegally annexed in 2014, as if it were hallowed ground. Ukraine possesses few weapons that can reach the peninsula, aside from aircraft that would risk being shot down immediately by Russia’s heavy air defenses in the region.
Last month, a small explosive device delivered by drone blew up at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, injuring six but causing little damage. Russia blamed Ukrainian forces for the attack, but Ukrainian officials vociferously denied it.
Shortly after the explosion occurred on Tuesday, the leader of Crimea’s occupation government, Sergei Aksyonov, arrived at the scene. Standing in front of a large black plume of smoke, he said that a three-mile perimeter had been erected around the site of the base to protect residents.
At the same time, the publication writes, the attack on occupied Crimea demonstrates that Ukraine can strike at the rear of the Russians and strike from a greater distance.
Russia said that an aviation munition had exploded and that there was allegedly no fire damage. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine “cannot determine the cause of the fire” at the airfield of the occupiers in the Ukrainian Crimea, but strongly recommends that they study the rules of fire safety and do not smoke where it does not belong.
President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine will definitely return the occupied Crimea, and the Russian war must end on the peninsula, where it began in 2014.