Crimean attack mystery: photos show damage

Crimean attack mystery: photos show damage

Released satellite images showed damage to the air base in Crimea, annexed to Russia. That suggests Ukraine has new long-range weapons that could change the course of the war, say Western military experts. The images, taken by independent satellite company Planet Labs, revealed three nearly identical craters into which buildings were hit with apparent precision.

The Saki base on Crimea’s southwest coast has suffered extensive fire damage, and at least eight destroyed fighter jets are clearly visible. Russia denied the planes were damaged and said Tuesday’s explosions at the base were accidental. Ukraine has not publicly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Ukraine: “Do not confirm or deny anything”

Commenting on the damage, Ukraine’s presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak told Portal: “We don’t officially confirm or deny anything … we have to keep in mind that there were multiple blast epicenters at the same time.”

The New York Times and Washington Post quoted unspecified officials as saying that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack in Crimea. The Institute for the Study of War said Ukrainian authorities described the attack on Crimea as the start of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the south, indicating intense fighting in August and September. These could decide the outcome of the next phase of the war.