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Putin Is Angry: Ukraine Special Forces Were Behind Crimea Attack

A member of the Ukrainian Territorial Defence Forces inspects remains of a Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighting aircraft among residential area, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Chernihiv, Ukraine April 6, 2022. REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko

A Ukrainian government official told the Washington Post on Wednesday that the huge explosions witnessed at a Russian airbase in occupied Crimea on Tuesday were the result of an operation by the Ukrainian special forces.

The explosions took place in Novofedorivka, a popular tourist destination on the Crimean peninsula. According to the Crimean chief health official, five people, including one child, were injured in the blasts.

The news suggests that covert forces are working deep behind enemy lines in Russia to undermine the Kremlin’s military efforts in Ukraine. Not only has Kyiv refused to take responsibility for the attack, but Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the explosion was the result of an accidental detonation of ammunition.

Kyiv Initially Did Not Claim Responsibility

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy indicated on Tuesday that Kyiv was not responsible for the attack and that Ukrainian soldiers did not launch a strike on the Russian base.

When asked by a journalist from the Dozhd online television channel whether Kyiv claimed responsibility for the blasts along the Black Sea, Podolyak said no.

“Of course not. What do we have to do with this?” he said.

Russia also shifted blame away from Ukrainian troops. Russia’s Ministry of Defense insisted on Wednesday that the explosions were caused by a detonation of aviation ammunition. The Kremlin also said that no attack took place and no military equipment had been damaged in the blast, but satellite images suggest otherwise.

Ukraine Says Nine Russian Warplanes Destroyed

Ukraine’s air force on Wednesday claimed that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in the series of explosions that took place at the Saki Air Base.

The claim was supported by the release of satellite imagery from August 9 and August 10. The comparison of the two images shows large craters on the ground where aircraft were visibly parked.

Eliot Higgins, the creative director of investigative news outlet Bellingcat, shared the satellite images on Twitter and noted a “massive fire” had occurred across the base following the explosions.

The aircraft were not stored in hangars – an ongoing issue for the Russian Air Force and naval aviation, as noted by war analyst Rob Lee – making them an easy target and supporting some analysts’ claims that the explosions were caused by anti-ship missiles.

More Strikes in Coming Days?

After it was revealed that a special forces unit carried out the explosive raid in Crimea yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top military adviser warned that additional attacks could arrive in the next few days.

Oleksiy Arestovych said that the attack was only the beginning of new Ukrainian strikes on Russian positions in occupied Crimea, and said that more would likely happen “in the coming days.” It follows months of reassurances from President Zelenskyy that his military intended to push Russia out of all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, which was illegally annexed in 2014.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Jack

    August 12, 2022 at 1:31 am

    Russians are conflicted about the attack. First they had announced they would use nuclear weapons to defend Mother Russia. Crimea is Mother Russia in Russian parlance. The attack suggests Ukraine has 300 Km range army tactical missile systems invisible to Russian air defenses. Alternatively Ukraine retrofit the HIMAR guidance system onto Ukrainian missiles. Ukraine manufactured all ICBMs and nuclear warheads for Russia. Ukraine resumed manufacture at the outset of the invasion. Moscow and the Kremlin are easy 500 Km targets with HIMAR guidance accurate to 1meter. Russian air defense is useless. The purpose of incorporating Kherson and Donbass into Russia was to prevent Ukraine from attacking because nuclear response would ensue. Lack of a nuclear response to the Crimea attack defeats the purpose of incorporation. Russian command is sucking thumbs and pondering what to do now. Zelinski won’t hesitate to nuke the Kremlin. Moscow, the only civilization in Russia, has a population of only 13 million. Kherch Bridge is an instant write off as are all Russian ports on the Sea of Azov. Russia must locate all headquarters and ammunition depots at least 300 Km from the front. Russian logistics cannot transport 300 Km to the front. Russian generals have no 300 Km communication system much less radios in the combat units.

    Russian strategy is on the horns of a dilemma. The Red Army loses one battalion per day.. Recruiting from Russian prisons and the slave states mustered only 13 replacement battalions. The Red Army faces a near future without ammunition, fuel, food, and manpower. Winter without food and fuel is coming. Moving nuclear weapons to depots in Ukraine, Crimea, Belgorod, Rostov, or Moscow is probably not a good idea. Wehrmacht 6th Army General Friedrich Paulus faced a similar dilemma at Stalingrad.

  2. Jacksonian Libertarian

    August 12, 2022 at 12:11 pm

    If Ukraine wants to exacerbate Russia’s manpower problems, they will claim commandos are attacking deep behind the frontlines, and force Russia to guard every militarily sensitive location with troops. This would have the side benefit of highlighting all the locations Russia considers important with troop concentrations.

    At the same time if Ukraine is using commando attacks, saying so will get them hunted, and increase the likelihood of such attacks being defeated.

  3. Matt

    August 12, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    General Winter will be a bitch.

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