On the morning of 16 August, a series of powerful explosions rocked the Dzhankoy district of Crimea, which is temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. As a result of a large-scale fire, ammunition began to detonate at a depot of a Russian military unit in the village of Mayske.
Eyewitnesses published videos of the fire on social networks, where explosions and rockets scattering are clearly visible. The Azovska railway station was damaged and the movement of trains from the peninsula to the mainland was stopped. This railway branch was of strategic importance for the Kremlin as the Russians used it to deliver their military equipment to the south of Ukraine, in particular to the Zaporizhzhia region.
The Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reports that the Russians amassed a large amount of military equipment and ammunition in the area of the railway station damaged by the explosions. In particular, 17 armoured vehicles, 10 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, seven Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, two Pion self-propelled howitzers, and three BM-21 Grad MLRS were unloaded there. And this is without taking into account the equipment already stored at the depot.
About 15 S-400, S-300, and Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile systems were deployed in the area of the airfield near Dzhankoy. In addition, 440 transport and launch containers (TLC) were amassed at the airfield.
“These TLCs were amassed there in such a quantity not so much to protect the airspace as to be sent to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to shell Mykolaiv and Zaporizhzhia, especially on the eve and directly on 24 August [Ukraine’s Independence Day],” reads the statement.
Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesperson for the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, commenting on the explosions at the depot in the Dzhankoy district, said that they were the result of “non-observance of fire safety rules.”
“There is an official position of the Ukrainian government, the top military leadership… The enemy does not know how to deal with fire safety measures. But all of Ukraine is happy about this. Dzhankoy is yet another airfield where the enemy amassed attack helicopters and other equipment. Judging by the video that appeared in open sources, we see the detonation of the ammunition… We hope that this way the enemy will get rid of the equipment and flight personnel,” the spokesperson said.
According to him, it is too early to talk about Russia’s losses.
The Ministry of Defence of Russia said that sabotage was the reason for the explosions.
The occupying authorities of Crimea declared a regional state of emergency on the peninsula after the detonation of ammunition in the Dzhankoy district.
Also, today, local residents and some Russian mass media reported several explosions and black smoke over the Russian military base in Hvardiyske, Simferopol district.
Information about the panic in Crimea is spreading in the mass media. Thousands of Russian citizens are already heading towards the Kerch Strait bridge; huge queues at the exit from the peninsula are seen.