Video Shows Russian Depot in Crimea on Fire After Large Explosions

A number of explosions rattled Crimea on Tuesday, with local officials reporting a fire at an ammunition depot that injured two people.

Videos of explosions in the Dzhankoi district of the peninsula—annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014—were circulating on social media early Tuesday.

A fire broke out in the village of Mayskoye at a "site for temporary storage of ammunition of one of the military units," the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to Russian state-run news outlet RIA Novosti.

"As a result of the fire, the stored ammunition detonated," the ministry said, adding that no one was seriously injured and that it was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

Crimea's Russian-appointed governor Sergei Aksyonov said that two people had sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

In a post on the Telegram platform, Aksyonov said that local residents were being evacuated from the area as explosions continued.

RIA Novosti also reported a fire at a transformer substation near the town of Dzhankoi.

Refat Chubarov, a Crimean Tatar leader, said that the blasts were due to "a precise strike." In a post on Facebook, Chubarov reported that the strike had "hit an ammunition depot" and the "sounds of explosions travel far."

Ukrainian authorities have not confirmed or denied responsibility for reported explosions in Crimea in recent days.

"A reminder: Crimea of normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouses explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves. Demilitarization in action," Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted after Tuesday's explosions.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have been contacted for comment.

Tuesday's blasts come after a series of explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea reportedly destroyed several warplanes last week.

The Russian military blamed the blasts at the Saki air base near the Novofyodorovka village on an accidental detonation of munitions there.

Ukrainian officials said nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in the explosions but fell short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions at the time, according to the Associated Press.

Satellite images taken before and after the explosions on August 9 purportedly showed several planes at the base had been destroyed.

If Ukrainian forces were responsible for those blasts, it could lead to an escalation in the war, Michael C. Kimmage, professor and chair of the history department at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., previously told Newsweek.

That is because there has been a string of attacks on Russian ammunition depots in recent weeks, Kimmage said, "a real military issue" that is setting Russia back and is costly as well.

There are indications of a "public relations issue" for Russia when it comes to addressing the explosions, Kimmage said.

Crimea explosion
File photo shows the Black Sea off Sevastopol, the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and its most important port and naval base, on July 16, 2022. A series of explosions have rocked Crimea, causing a fire at an ammunition depot. Olga Maltseva/AFP via Getty Images