Ukraine LIVE: Putin ‘incredibly nervous’ as mystery swirls over Russian base explosion

Ukraine LIVE: Putin ‘incredibly nervous’ as mystery swirls over Russian base explosion

The Ukrainian Special Forces are behind the dozen powerful blasts at the Russian airbase in Crimea on Tuesday, a senior Ukrainian official has told Sky News. One person was killed in a series of blasts at an airbase near seaside resorts which left dozens of onlooking beachgoers rattled. Videos were posted to social media of thick black smoke rising from the site and people fleeing the beaches. Witnesses also reported a fire on a runway and damage to nearby homes, Crimea Today News said on Telegram. The Russian Defence Ministry was left scrambling, initially claiming no damage was done or people injured and insisting the damage was not a result of Ukrainian attacks. 

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Tara Fair

Putin ‘incredibly nervous’ as mystery swirls over Russian base explosion

Vladimir Putin is likely to be “incredibly nervous” as mystery swirls around an explosion at a Russian military base in Crimea.

A dozen powerful blasts rocked a Russian air base in Russian-held Crimea on Tuesday in what may mark an escalation of the war in Ukraine.

At least one person was killed and several others were wounded, authorities admitted, after initially denying that any damage had been done or casualties caused.

Multiple conflicting reports have emerged about the cause of the explosions, with the Russian Defence Ministry initially claiming the explosions were a result of an accident while refuelling aircraft.

Speculation that Ukraine could be behind the attack using long-range missiles has swirled, with Kyiv-based security analyst @jimmysecuk saying: “If the Ukrainians have a weapon – any weapon – that can reach out and touch Russian targets within a 300km range from the current frontlines, a vast, vast amount of territory they previous assumed safe – even from HIMARS/M270 – is now not. And they will be forced to react.

“So for weapons nerds, as a matter of general interest, we obviously want to know exactly what it was they used.

“From a Russian perspective, all that matters is this capability exists. And it will make them incredibly, incredibly nervous.”

Adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, denied responsibility when asked by the Dozhd online television channel whether Kyiv was behind the attack, he replied: “Of course not. What do we have to do with this?”

But this denial contradicts a Ukrainian official who on Tuesday told the New York Times that the assault was carried out with a “device exclusively of Ukrainian manufacture”.

Tara Fair

What does the Russian Defence Ministry claim happened in the Crimea explosions?

A dozen powerful blasts rocked a Russian air base in Russian-held Crimea on Tuesday. 

Multiple conflicting reports have emerged about the cause of the explosions. 

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that several aircraft munitions detonated in the storage areas of the Saky airbase due to poor fire protocol, rejecting reports that Ukrainian strikes or sabotage at the military facility caused the explosions.

The Russian Defense Ministry added that the incident did not result in any casualties or damage to Russian aviation equipment.

But the Russian Health Ministry claimed that five civilians were wounded in the incident.

Social media footage also showed firefighters extinguishing a burning plane, which also contradicts the original Russian Defense Ministry claim.

Russian-appointed Head of Crimea Sergey Aksyenov claimed that Russian officials are only evacuating a few residents in homes near the airbase, but social media footage showed long traffic jams approaching the Crimean bridge and the departure of several minibusses, reportedly with evacuees.

Tara Fair

PHOTOS: Dnipropetrovsk rocked by heavy shelling

Much of the Dnipropetrovsk region has been rocked by heavy shelling this week as Russia pushes ahead with its brutal invasion of Ukraine. 

An lyceum in Dnipropetrovsk region destroyed by Russian shelling (Image: GETTY)

A home damaged by a Russian rocket that destroyed the roof and the floor and killed two people (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Russians attempting to resume offensive in Donetsk

Russian forces are trying to resume their offensive in Donetsk, with battles breaking out near Pisky. 

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine noted: “The situation has not changed in Volyn and Polissya directions.

“By August 11, it is planned to hold the first stage of Russia–Belarus joint operational-tactical training with live fire.

“There is still a threat of the enemy missile and air strikes from the territory and airspace of this country [Belarus].”

Local residents look at the damages after an early morning Russian forces’ strike in Kostiantynivka (Image: GETTY)

A man injured by shrapnel after a bombing is transported by emergency services in Bakhmut (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Russia claims to shoot down three Ukrainian warplanes and seven HIMARS missiles

The Russian Defence Ministry has claimed it shot down three Ukrainian warplanes in the Mykolaiv region of southern Ukraine this morning.

The reports also claim Russian forces destroyed a German-supplied Gepard anti-aircraft system in the area.

In its daily briefing, the Defence Ministry added it had shot down seven HIMARS missiles in the neighbouring Kherson region.

Tara Fair

160 Russians killed in 24 hours, claims Ukraine

The Ukrainian Armed Forces estimate that 160 Russian soldiers have been killed in the last 24 hours of fighting. 

It claims 42,800 have been killed in total since the war began on February 24. 

Estimates of military losses differ between sources and assessment is made difficult by the hostilities of war. 

Tara Fair

Control of terrain MAPPED

Below is a map detailing the latest developments for Russian and Ukrainian forces in terms of terrain, courtesy of the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). 

Tara Fair

Death toll in Dnipropetrovsk rises to 13

The death toll following strikes in the central Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine has risen to 13.

Governor Valentyn Reznychenko said two of the wounded died at the Marganets hospital as of 9.16am local time.

He said: “The doctors fought, but could not save them.

“At this moment, the night Russian attack on the Nikopol district took the lives of 13 civilians.”

He added that five more are in serious condition and six others injured. 

Tara Fair

What is the Donbas?

The Donbas region of Ukraine refers to the old coal and steel-producing areas in the east.

The regions, Luhansk and Donetsk, run from outside Mariupol in the south all the way to the northern border.

Russia formally recognises these breakaway areas as independent from Ukraine.

Russian forces seized more than a third of the area after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014. Donbas is predominantly Russian-speaking and Putin has repeatedly spoken about “liberating” it completely.

Despite sharing a language, these areas are no longer pro-Russian.

Defence specialist Konrad Muzyka, head of Rochan Consulting, said: “Mariupol was one of the most pro-Russian cities in Ukraine and to level it is beyond my comprehension.”

The Donbas region of Ukraine refers to the old coal and steel-producing areas in the east (Image: GETTY)

Tara Fair

Families of Russian military flee in ‘panic’ following bridge attacks

The families of Russian troops in the Kherson region of Ukraine are reportedly fleeing in “panic” after Ukrainian strikes on key bridges. 

The Kherson Oblast State Administration said the movement began after Ukraine struck the Antonivsky and Kakhovsky bridges in recent days.

This is a key supply route for Russian occupiers in the Kherson region.

A statement said Russian occupiers had “started to panic”.

It added: “Yesterday the Antonivsky bridge was surrounded on both sides, locals were not allowed.

“Also because of these events, the mass exodus of the families of the Russian military who lived in Kherson began.”

Tara Fair

Russians have begun drone training in Iran, claims US

The United States believes the Russians have started drone training in Iran. 

A US official told CNN: “Over the past few weeks, Russian officials have been conducting exercises in Iran as part of an agreement to transfer UAVs from Iran to Russia.”

The official said intelligence about the exercise had recently been declassified.

CNN reported for the first time last month that a Russian delegation has visited an airfield in central Iran at least twice since June to inspect combat drones.

Tara Fair

VIDEO: footage from Crimea blasts emerges

Footage has emerged online, reportedly from the blasts at the Russian airfield in Crimea. 

In the short video, a burnt Su-24 plane is visible, and to the right of it the remains of another plane is also visible. 

The 43rd Fighter Aviation Regiment of the Russian Air Force is based at the airfield.

Su-24M, Su-30SM and Su-33 aircraft were located there.

Immediately after the incident, the Ministry of Defense of Russia announced that “no one was injured at the airfield, the aircraft equipment was not damaged.”

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u2014 Ukrmilitary Pages (@ukrmilitary) August 9, 2022

Tara Fair

British technology found in Russian weapons used in Ukraine

British technology has been found in Russian weapons being used in Ukraine, according to defence think-tank Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). 

Oscillators and crystals produced by Somerset-based Golledge Electronics have been built into Russian radars and missile systems.

The British-based think-tank believe this shows Russian weapons are reliant on Western technology. 

Russia has lost so many cruise and ballistic missiles, electronic warfare equipment and specialist radios in Ukraine that “the degradation in Russian military capability could be made permanent if appropriate policies are implemented”, the report says.

Vladimir Putin has reportedly set up a “clandestine group” of spies to source replacements for the Western technology, which it can no longer access due to sanctions. 

Tara Fair

Russia forced to prioritise objectives as it struggles with recruitment

Russian forces will soon be forced to prioritise military objectives as they continue to be stretched, according to the latest intelligence update from the British Ministry of Defence. 

The briefing said: “Russian commanders highly likely continue to be faced with the competing operational priorities of reinforcing the Donbas offensive, and strengthening defences against anticipated Ukrainian counterattacks in the south.

“To support the Ukraine operation, Russia has almost certainly established a major new ground forces formation, 3rd Army Corps (3 AC), based out of Mulino, in Nizhny Novgorod Oblast east of Moscow.

“Russia likely plans to resource a large proportion of 3 AC from newly formed ‘volunteer’ battalions, which are being raised across the country, and which group together recruits from the same areas.

“Russian regional politicians have confirmed that potential 3 AC recruits are being offered lucrative cash bonuses once they deploy to Ukraine.

“Recruitment is open to men up to 50 years old and with only middle-school education.

“A Russian army corps typically consists of 15-20,000 troops, but it will probably be difficult for Russia to bring 3 AC up to this strength, given very limited levels of popular enthusiasm for volunteering for combat in Ukraine.

“3 AC’s effect is unlikely to be decisive to the campaign.”

u2014 Ministry of Defence ud83cuddecud83cudde7 (@DefenceHQ) August 10, 2022

Tara Fair

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tara Fair, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: Tara.fair@reachplc.com

Twitter: @TaraFair_

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