This fire comes days after explosions at a military base and a munitions depot in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Moscow, with Russia acknowledging the latter as an “act of sabotage”. “An ammunition dump caught fire near the village of Timonovo,” which is less than 50 km from the Ukrainian border in Belgorod province, the region’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said in a press release.
There were no casualties, but residents of Timonovo and the nearby village of Soloti were “taken to a safe distance,” he said, adding that authorities were investigating the cause of the fire. A huge fireball could be seen in a video posted to social media, releasing a thick column of black smoke. In another video, multiple explosions could be seen in close succession in the distance.
An epidemic of explosions
The fire, which broke out on Thursday, came amid a burst of explosions that affected Russian military installations in Crimea. In early August, the explosion of munitions intended for military aviation near the Saki airbase left one dead and several injured.
A few days later, an ammunition depot was blown up by explosions. In the latter case, Moscow, which is rare, admitted to an “act of sabotage”. In a sign that the situation remains explosive, Russian anti-aircraft defenses were activated on Thursday evening near the Crimean city of Kerch, where there is a bridge connecting the peninsula with mainland Russia and after the annexation with large effort was built.