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Explosion reported near occupied Sevastopol

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 1, 2023 8:56 PM 1 min read
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Videos emerged on Telegram on Aug. 1 appearing to show an explosion in the hills around Sevastopol, a major naval city in Russian-occupied Crimea. The blast was reported around 6 p.m. local time on Aug. 1.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the head of the illegal Russian occupation government of Sevastopol, claimed that a drone was shot down and set vegetation on fire in a mountainous area around the city.

The Telegram channel Crimean Wind, however, assessed that the site of the explosion could be the logistics center of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is harbored at Sevastopol.

Explosions were previously reported in the city, which is the largest in Crimea, on July 16. Over the past month, strikes have been hitting military targets on the peninsula almost every week.

The Ukrainian military confirmed on July 22 that it had attacked an oil depot and Russian military warehouses in Crimea. A series of videos surfaced on social media where pillars of smoke could be seen rising from several locations, including near railway tracks.

On July 28, an ammunition warehouse in Crimea was hit by explosions, which Ukraine's military intelligence said were the result of sabotage. The warehouse was located in Kozacha Bay near Sevastopol.

Key transport routes in Russian-occupied Crimea have been hit by strikes over recent months, including a July 17 explosion on the Crimean Bridge and a strike on the Chonhar Bridge on July 29.

The Crimean Peninsula is used by Russia as a logistics hub to supply its military occupation of Ukraine. It has been under Russian occupation since 2014 following a fake referendum staged by Russia to annex the territory.

Since the start of Moscow's full-scale invasion, President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly vowed to liberate all of Ukraine's territory, including Crimea.

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