Seven loud explosions were reported on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at about 10:00 in the area of the village of in Olenivka, to the west of occupied Crimea. Shortly after this, images began to appear on Ukrainian Telegram channels of a column of thick, white smoke rising in the area. Subsequent posts reported about these had originated from a Russian military facility located at Cape Tarkhankut, near Olenivka, where it was believed that Russian air defense radar stations were located.

A video released by Ukraine’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (HUR) showed a large explosion in the same area which it claimed showed the destruction of a Russian S-400 “Triumf” (NATO: SA-21 Growler). The size of the explosion strongly indicated that the installation itself, the missiles installed on it and the personnel manning it were all destroyed.

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The S-400 is a fourth generation of long-range Russian surface-to-air missile capable of engaging aircraft, UAV, cruise missiles, and terminal ballistic missiles out to a range of 400 kilometers and an altitude of 60 kilometers.

S-400 missile system

Photo: wikimedia

This was a key component of Russia’s defense of the occupied peninsula. It was reported in 2021 that only 25 of the systems were in-service with Russian forces, leading HUR to comment:

“Given the limited number of such systems in service with the enemy, this is a ― painful blow to the air defense system of the invaders, which will have a serious impact on further events in the occupied Crimea.”

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Earlier the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko reported on Telegram that a Russian “Bastion” anti-ship missile complex had also been hit and damaged.

“It (Bastion) is one of the carriers of the Onyx missile, with which the Russians strike at Ukraine,” Andryushchenko said.

Several Onyx missiles were thought to be responsible for attacks against facilities in Odesa in late July.

These attacks happening so close together suggests that they were coordinated attacks, just a day after the Chief of HUR, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, suggested that something would happen in Crimea “soon” during a television interview.

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