Russia denies being under attack after airfields rocked by explosions

Russia denies being attacked

At least eight explosions were reported at Zyabrovka airport, near Belarus’ border with Ukraine, early yesterday (Image: AP/Getty)

Explosions rocked another Kremlin airport, but Russia continues to deny it was hit.

At least eight explosions were reported at Zyabrovka airport, near Belarus’ border with Ukraine, early yesterday.

Belarus, a close ally of Moscow, allows Russia to use the base to store military supplies and to launch its bombing raids on Ukraine’s capital, Kiev.

Witnesses said they saw and heard loud explosions, but officials tried to downplay the incident, claiming it was just a small fire.

Minsk’s Defense Ministry insisted there had been no attack, saying the blasts happened “during a test run when a piece of equipment that had had its engine replaced caught fire”.

It comes just hours after Kremlin chiefs tried to avert the shelling of a base in Crimea on Tuesday, in which at least nine warplanes were destroyed.

Aerial photos of Saki airfield showed the devastation caused by the raid, which Moscow had denied took place.

After footage showed mushroom clouds rising over the seaside resort’s skyline, Moscow said they were the result of a fire caused when an ammunition dump exploded.

A Planet Labs PBC satellite image shows Saki Air Base after an explosion there Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, on the Crimean Peninsula, the Black Sea peninsula captured from Ukraine by Russia and annexed in March 2014. Ukraine said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly series of explosions at an air base in Crimea that appeared to be the result of a Ukrainian attack would represent a significant escalation in the war.  (Planet Labs PBC via AP)

Aerial photos reveal the extent of the damage at Saki Airport (Image: AP)

Kiev also accused Moscow of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a shield to protect its artillery (Image: AFP)

Ukraine has so far not claimed responsibility for any of the incidents. But senior government sources in Kiev told Sky News and The Washington Post that the Crimea raid, which left one dead and a dozen wounded, had been carried out by its special forces.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting continued to rage around the eastern Ukrainian city of Pisky last night as Russian troops stepped up their campaign to seize all territory in the industrialized Donbas region.

Kiev also accused Moscow of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a shield to protect its artillery. The claims were made as Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced that Britain will send more weapons to Ukraine to boost its war effort.

The shipment will include multiple launch rocket systems and precision
guided M31A1 missiles, which can hit targets up to 50 miles away.

“Our continued support sends a very clear message… Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder to shoulder and provide defensive military assistance to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion,” it added Wallace.

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