2 injured in fire at ammunition depot in Crimea

Kyiv, Ukraine — Two people were injured in a fire at an ammunition depot in Crimea on Tuesday, local officials said, a week after a series of explosions at an air base on the peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine.

The fire and explosion rocked the village of Mayskoye in Crimea’s Dzhankoi district early Tuesday, Russian media reported.

The Russian defense ministry said a fire broke out at a “temporary storage place for ammunition of one of the military units”.

“As a result of the fire, the stored ammunition exploded,” the ministry said, adding that it was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

Russia-appointed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said two people were injured and local residents were evacuated from the area as ammunition explosions continued.

Ukrainian authorities have not yet commented on the incident.

Last week, a series of explosions took place at the Saki Air Force Base near the village of Novofyodorovka in Crimea. The Russian military blamed the explosions on an accidental detonation of ammunition there, but the incident appeared to be the result of a Ukrainian attack. Kiev said the explosions destroyed nine Russian planes.

Ukrainian officials at the time stopped publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while mocking Russia’s explanation that a careless smoker set fire to and detonated munitions at Saki Air Force Base. Analysts also said the explanation is incorrect and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to attack the base.

The Crimean peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has enormous strategic and symbolic significance for both sides. The Kremlin’s demand that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia has been one of the key preconditions for ending the fighting, while Ukraine has vowed to drive the Russians out of the peninsula and all other occupied territories.


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