A Ukrainian attack on Crimea has resulted in an ammunition depot exploding, releasing a huge plume of thick smoke into the area as the facility remains on fire Saturday, and follow-up blasts continuing.
It's being widely reported that it was a drone strike, with international outlets citing AP to report that "the Ukrainian military appeared to confirm it had launched the drone strike, claiming through its press service that it had destroyed an oil depot and Russian arms warehouses in the Krasnohvardiiske area, although without specifying what weapons were used." It marks the second major military depot blast in Crimea this week in the central region of the peninsula which is home to many Russian military bases and assets.
Several social media posts from the region suggested there may have been multiple drones targeting an oil depot and airstrip. Other reports indicate Storm Shadow missiles might have been used.
Loud follow-up blasts were also heard in the region (likely ammo detonating), and at one point amid the inbound attack road traffic on the Kerch Strait Bridge was briefly suspended.
Crimean Governor Sergey Aksyonov said on Saturday that initially there doesn't appear to have been any casualties, with Russian media citing the the following:
Writing on Telegram, Aksyonov said the detonation had taken place in the Krasnogvardeysky district. "A decision has been made to evacuate the population within a 5km radius from the site of the emergency and place them in temporary accommodation facilities," he added.
Crimean authorities have since confirmed the evacuation of civilians within a 5km radius of the blast zone, regional media says.
Huge detonations are currently happening in the center of Crimea after the Ukrainian strikes— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) July 22, 2023
Reportedly, several drones & possibly Storm Shadow missiles were involved. Fleet ammunition depot & railway connection were hit in Octiabrskoe. https://t.co/KABqXo3wdd pic.twitter.com/lFfocTddgi
This large-scale attack follows the sea drone stroke on the Crimean Bridge on Monday, which killed two Russian civilians and injured their 14-year old daughter. The couple had reportedly been on vacation.
The Kremlin promptly declared it a 'terror attack' while at the same time a Ukrainian official claimed responsibility for the major strike, according to a CNN interview.