Ukrainian attacks in Crimea weaken Russia’s military capacity

by | Aug 18, 2022 | World

A series of apparent Ukrainian attacks and logistical disasters for Russian forces in the 25th week of the war may indicate that Ukraine’s promised southern counteroffensive is still viable, despite the absence so far of significant territorial gains for Kyiv.Ukraine said an estimated nine Russian warplanes were destroyed on August 9 in explosions at the Saky airbase in Crimea, 225km (140 miles) behind the front line, in what would appear to be the first major Ukrainian attack on a Russian base on the peninsula.
Satellite imagery later showed seven destroyed planes at Saky, and others that were severely damaged.
Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the attack, but Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address: “In just one day, the occupiers lost 10 combat aircraft: nine in Crimea and one more in the direction of Zaporizhzhia.”
Russia’s defence ministry said aviation munitions had been detonated at the base through negligence.
The Institute for the Study of War said the targets “are well beyond the range of the US-provided systems”, as precision-guided rocket artillery used in US-supplied HIMARS systems has a range of 80-120km (50-75 miles], but that “Ukrainian forces have various systems that they could have used or modified”.
But Ukrainian sources told the New York Times that partisans behind enemy lines had carried out the attack.
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Separately, on the same day, Ukrainian forces demonstrate …

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