In What Appeared to be the Result of a Ukrainian Attack, 9 Russian Warplanes Were Destroyed

Rising smoke can be seen from the beach at Saky after explosions were heard from the direction of a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea, Tuesday Aug. 9, 2022. The explosion of munitions caused a fire at a military air base in Russian-annexed Crimea Tuesday but no casualties or damage to stationed warplanes, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. (UGC via AP)
In What Appeared to be the Result of a Ukrainian Attack, 9 Russian Warplanes Were Destroyed

Ukraine said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly string of explosions at an air base in Crimea that appeared to be the result of a Ukrainian attack, which would represent a significant escalation in the war.

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts — or that any attack took place. But satellite photos clearly showed at least seven fighter planes at the base had been blown up and others probably damaged.

Ukrainian officials stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker might have caused ammunition at the Saki air base to catch fire and blow up. Analysts also said that explanation doesn’t make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.