Panic in Crimea as massive explosions rock Russian military airbase

On August 9, massive explosions occurred at the military airfield near the city of Saki in annexed Crimea. According to eyewitnesses, there were more than ten explosions. The witnesses say that “the windows were shaking, and the car alarms went off" 20 km from the air base in Novofedorivka

The head of the annexed Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said that a five-kilometer safety zone has been established around the base. Ambulance crews and medical aircraft are working at the scene. One person was killed. About 30 people were evacuated from houses that are located near the site of explosions in the resort village of Novofedorivka. According to the telegram channel Baza, local residents reported a large number of ambulances that drove towards Novofedorivka from Yevpatoria.

The local newspaper Krymskaya Pravda reported that “the cause of the explosions on the territory of the air base in Novofedorivka was a fire during the loading of fuel”. Later, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that "some aircraft ammunition detonated at the collapsed storage site. No one was injured in the explosion. Equipment at the airfield is not damaged." The Russian Defense Ministry specifically noted that "there was no fire damage to the collapsed ammunition storage site at the airfield."

There have been no comments from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry yet. Earlier, the Ukrainian Armed Forces didn’t rule out the possibility of using HIMARS MLRS to strikes Russian military targets in Crimea.

Planes and helicopters, including naval aviation, are based at the Saki airbase near the village of Novofedorivka. In addition, there is a training site of Russian naval aircraft.

According to Ukrainian media, the airfield was used by aircraft that carry out strike on the territory of Ukraine.

After a series of explosions at the Russian military airfield, vacationers left Novofedorivka beaches in panic. Some tourists and locals are trying to get out of the peninsula altogether.

There are reportedly huge traffic jams on the roads approaching the Crimean Bridge.

At the same time, people are getting scared even more by representatives of law enforcement agencies, reports the Telegram Channel "Caution, news", citing a local hotel owner Ekaterina. 

"The authorities are not saying anything. The only information that we had was from traffic cops and patrol police officers who we met along the way. They pretty much said: "That's it, leave. Get out of here! The war has begun." It was very scary. Everyone is worried, the children are crying. It's terrible," Ekaterina said.

Ekaterina was unable to leave the village and decided to stay in the basement of her hotel. The hotel doors were knocked out by explosions. According to her, in neighboring houses windows were blown out by the blast wave. 

  Crimea, War in Ukraine, Russia