A statement claiming Ukrainian responsibility for a massive blaze in occupied Crimea is a fake, Ukrainian military intelligence has told Kyiv Post.

A major Russian military base and ammo dump in the occupied peninsula are currently ablaze with thousands of people being evacuated, according to Kremlin-installed authorities.

Starting from half past 4 o’clock in the morning, Russian media outlets and others posted videos of huge flames, billowing smoke, and a series of loud detonations.

The fire is at a military training grounds, airfield and ammunition storage facility – known as a “polygon” – near the historical town of Stary Krym in the Kirov district of central Crimea.

On Tuesday morning a statement purportedly from Major General Kyrylo Budanov of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense claimed responsibility for the strike.

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Several western media outlets picked up the statement and reported it as fact, claiming Budanov said in a post on Telegram: “A successful operation was carried out in the occupied Crimea.

“The enemy hides the extent of the damage and the number of manpower losses. Thank you to the Ukrainian patriots in Crimea for the additional information and the video of the joint work of the [Intelligence Directorate] and the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

Kyiv officials have said the statement is a fake and have not claimed responsibility for the apparent attack.

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“There was no such statement,” Andriy Yusov, a representative of the Intelligence arm of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, told Kyiv Post.

The fake message appeared on Telegram.

The Moscow-imposed governor of illegally annexed Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said on his Telegram channel that “it is planned to temporarily evacuate residents of four settlements - this is more than 2,000 people.”

Russian occupation authorities have formally given no reason for the inferno.

“The causes of the fire at the training ground in the Kirov region will be established by the investigating authorities,” Aksyonov said on Telegram.

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However, pro-Russian Telegram channels were quick to claim that the blaze on the base was caused by three hits by Ukrainian forces.

Different pro-Russian milbloggers put up competing speculative theories about what weapons could have been used by Ukraine, including low-flying Hrim-2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or UK-provided Storm Shadow missiles.

Some Telegram channels said that by mid-morning today, the fire had been going on for about six hours, but is still not contained.

The big blaze has also closed a section of the major Tavrida Highway which crosses the peninsula. Bus traffic on interregional routes has been “temporarily redirected,” according to local transportation sources.

Local Telegram channels helpfully offered travelers with handy detour tips and maps. Traffic problems started on the peninsula after Ukraine took out a section of the Kerch bridge earlier in the week.

Wednesday’s incident comes days after Ukraine used waterborne drones to attack and destroy part of the Kerch bridge, a key military supply artery from mainland Russia to annexed Crimea.

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With the deployment of so-called “little green men,” Russia illegally annexed the Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 following the Maidan Revolution. Kyiv has repeatedly said it plans to take back Crimea.

Overnight, Russia launched an aerial assault on the Ukrainian port of Odesa for the second night in a row. Ukraine’s military also said that a drone attack at Kyiv was successfully repelled early on Wednesday.

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Comments ( 1)

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Nic
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

No..call his bluff!!

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