Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, acknowledged on Wednesday for the first time that Ukraine carried out missile strikes that hit Russian military bases in annexed Crimea.
Ukraine has “successfully carried out missile strikes on enemy military bases, including Saki airfield”, Zaluzhnyi wrote in an article published by the official Ukrinform news agency.
Major explosions at Saki airbase in Crimea last month, which killed at least one person and destroyed military aviation equipment, were explained by Moscow as an accident.
But analysts said satellite imagery indicated a likely attack by Ukrainian forces, with no public acknowledgment by Kyiv officials at the time.
Ukraine’s military sarcastically commented on Russia’s “technical difficulties”, saying they may have been caused by smokers in unauthorized areas.
Zaluzhnyi praised as “successful” the efforts of the Ukrainian armed forces to “physically transfer the fighting” to the territory of Crimea in recent weeks.
Russia uses the peninsula as its main base to attack Ukraine after Moscow launched the invasion in February, but Crimea has rarely been targeted.
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