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Ukrainian commander says Russian airbase in Crimea hit in attack

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk January 31, 2024 11:43 PM 1 min read
A pillar of smoke rising purportedly from Balbek airbase shown in a video shared by the Crimean Wind Telegram channel on Jan. 31, 2024. (Crimean Wind/Telegram)
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The Balbek airfield in Russian-occupied Crimea was hit in an attack, Air Force Commander General Mykola Oleshchuk said on Telegram on Jan. 31.  

Videos emerged on local Telegram channels earlier in the afternoon showing a series of explosions in Russian-occupied Crimea. The airfield is located a few kilometers north of Sevastopol.

Oleshchuk shared a video showing an explosion and thanked "everyone who participated in the clearing the Russian presence out of Crimea."

"Ukrainian aviators will definitely return home to their native airfield," Oleshchuk said, referring to Ukraine's 204th Sevastopol Tactical Aviation Brigade, which was based at the Balbek airfield before Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.

Ukrainska Pravda reported that the attack on the airbase was carried out using Scalp/Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles, citing a source in the military.

Oleshchuk earlier reported on Jan. 6 that the Ukrainian Air Force had carried out a successful attack against the Saky airbase, 50 kilometers to the north of Sevastopol.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces also reported a successful strike against a Russian command post near Sevastopol and ammunition warehouses near the village of Pervomaiske on Jan. 4.

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