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Pro-Ukrainian saboteurs are behind blasts at Russian military sites, Ukrainian official says

Pro-Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for the recent explosions and fires in Russian-annexed Crimea, a Ukrainian government official has confirmed.

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In Ukraine, DNIPRO. According to a Ukrainian government official who spoke to NBC News, pro-Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for the recent round of explosions against Russian military installations in Crimea.

The recent spate of explosions that targeted military facilities and air bases on the annexation peninsula suggest a growing capacity on the part of the Ukrainian military or its sponsors to launch attacks far behind enemy lines, which could change the nature of the conflict.

Kyiv has refrained from taking responsibility for the explosives in the open. Because he was not allowed to notify journalists about the Crimea strikes, the government official talked on the condition of anonymity.

Given the nature of the explosions, experts have hypothesized that guerilla combatants, often known as “partisans,” may have been involved.

If the Ukrainian military or special forces were also involved in the strikes, the spokesman would not comment. But he continued, “Resistance is only conceivable today because of the people who reject Putin in the seized regions and in Russia.”

In Crimea, on the southwest coast close to the port city of Sevastopol, the command center of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, explosions were reported near an airbase on Thursday night. At Kerch, close to a sizable bridge to Russia, on the other end of the peninsula, the sky was also lighted up by what Russia claimed to be fire from its air defenses.

More than 3,000 people were forced to escape the area on Tuesday as a result of major explosions and fires at a military facility in the Crimean peninsula that Russia has occupied.

Without naming any suspects, Russia referred to the explosions at a Mayskoye weapons storage site as a “act of sabotage.” Moscow has already issued warnings that such assaults would cross a red line. But, similar to the blasts last week, speculation spread that the attacks on the region, which Russia has ruled since 2014, were orchestrated by Ukrainian forces.

According to a U.S. official with knowledge of the situation who spoke to NBC News, the Biden administration has not imposed any limitations on Ukraine employing HIMARS-style long-range missiles to conduct strikes in Crimea.

According to former Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Ukraine has pledged not to attack Russian territory with such weapons.

The official stressed that the U.S. neither encouraged nor discouraged Ukraine from attacking Crimea, adding that Ukraine alone is responsible for deciding where to launch attacks.

Despite Moscow’s 2014 takeover of the peninsula, the United States and the rest of the world still regard Crimea as Ukrainian territory. One of the Kremlin’s main demands for Kyiv to acknowledge the peninsula as a part of Russia has been one of its primary requirements for halting the conflict. The peninsula is extremely significant both strategically and symbolically for Russia and Ukraine. While this is going on, Ukraine has threatened to expel Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied areas.

Russia’s invasion of mainland Ukraine has utilized Crimea as a key strategic hub, providing both military bases and crucial supply routes for its soldiers occupying the south. The Black Sea fleet of Russia is based there as well.

While Hyder Abbasi reported from London, Josh Lederman reported from Dnipro.