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Military bases in Russia and Belarus were rocked by fires and explosions on Thursday, just days after a Russian airbase in Crimea saw explosions that destroyed nine warplanes.
Russian media reported that a military housing unit was on fire in a town outside Moscow early Thursday morning but did not provide information on how the fire started.
The Directorate of the Ministry of Emergencies of the Moscow Region reported that the fire was seen spewing smoke under the roof and took more than 35 people to isolate.
“The fire has now been extinguished, there are no reports of casualties,” a source told Russian state news agency Tass.
Experts cast doubt on reports that Ukrainian special forces were behind the Crimea airfield attack
The Belarusian news agency reported that several explosions occurred early Thursday at the Ziabrouka airfield in Belarus’ southern Gomel region, which shares a border with Ukraine, and where Belarusian forces are being inspected for “combat readiness.”
The Belarusian Defense Ministry said some military equipment caught fire after an inspection late Wednesday night, the Kyiv Independent reported.
Adviser to Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Sikhanouskaya, took to Twitter to say that at least eight explosions occurred near an air base “used by Russian aviation in the war against Ukraine”.
“So far, there is no confirmation if these explosions are connected to any military drills conducted by the Russian and Belarusian armies on Belarusian territory,” added consultant Franak Viakorka.
Explosions at a Russian airbase in occupied Crimea came days after simultaneous fires destroyed at least nine fighter jets.
“In just one day, the aggressors lost ten warplanes: nine in the direction of Crimea and one in the direction of Zaporizhia,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his night speech on Wednesday. “The attackers will also suffer new losses of armored vehicles, warehouses with ammunition, logistics routes.”
Belarus begins military drills on Ukraine border, tests readiness of troops
“The more losses the invaders suffer, the sooner we will be able to liberate our land and guarantee Ukraine’s security,” he said.
It is unclear what caused the explosions in Crimea, and Ukrainian defense officials have not claimed responsibility for the airbase crash.
Moscow played down the devastating incident and claimed that the munitions detonated accidentally at the airport, although images released on Thursday may indicate a missile attack, according to a Reuters report.
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Mykhailo Podolyak, A Adviser to Zelenskyy“Technical accidents” apparently took the opportunity to say that Russia’s defense was “karma”.
“The epidemic of technical accidents at military airfields in Crimea and Belarus should be considered by Russia as a military warning: forget about Ukraine, take off the uniform and leave,” he said in a tweet. “You are not safe in occupied Crimea or occupied Belarus.
“Karma will find you anywhere,” he added.