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Partisans: Ammunition depot hit at Belbek airfield in occupied Crimea

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 16, 2024 9:10 AM 2 min read
The graffiti with the Ukrainian coat of arms on the rock named after Crimea-born painter Ivan Aivazovsky. "Activists of the 'Yellow Ribbon' movement continue to spread patriotic graffiti throughout the territory of Crimea. On the surface, this is just patriotic graffiti, but every such resistance has a huge meaning. We remind the Russians again that Crimea is Ukraine, and it's time for them to pack their things for Kostroma or Ulan-Ude," says a social media post. (Yellow Ribbon/X)
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The main missile and artillery depot of the Russian Belbek military airfield near occupied Sevastopol was damaged on the evening of May 15, according to the partisan group Atesh.

The Crimean Wind Telegram channel claimed earlier that the Belbek airfield was attacked, and a fuel depot caught fire as a result of the strike, according to eyewitnesses. Explosions were reported in occupied Sevastopol, Simferopol, Dzhankoi, and Hvardiiske.

The partisans claim that the damaged depot stored "most of the missiles" for Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighter jets as well as MiG-31 aircraft, a carrier of Kinzhal ballistic missiles that Russia uses to attack Ukraine. The partisans did not explicitly say whether the stored ammunition included Kinzhals.

"There was also significant damage to the airfield's infrastructure as a result of secondary detonation," Atesh claimed.

Russia's Defense Ministry alleged that five U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles were intercepted overnight by air defenses.

The Ukrainian military has not commented on the attacks. The Kyiv Independent could not verify all these claims.

Explosions were reportedly heard in occupied Sevastopol, and fires were burning near the Belbek military airfield earlier overnight on May 15.

Sevastopol is also home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet and is frequently targeted by Ukrainian missile and naval drone strikes.

Russian authorities regularly claim to have downed Ukrainian missiles and drones without reporting damage, though later reports at times emerge showing military targets or infrastructure that appear to have been struck.

Updated: Ukraine destroys Russian fast attack craft in occupied Crimea
The combat operation was conducted by the “Group 13” unit of Ukraine’s military intelligence in the Vuzka Bay in the Black Sea.
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