Russia accuses sabotage of explosions in Crimea

Massive explosions and fires ripped through Crimea on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of 3,000 residents as the war in Ukraine appears to spread to the peninsula occupied by Russia since 2014.

The Russian Defense Ministry accused the “sabotage” of explosions at a military warehouse near Dzhankoya. Power lines, a power station, a railway line and a number of residential buildings were damaged, the ministry said in a statement obtained by Russian media Kommersant. The explosion was described as a diversion.

No serious injuries were reported. Another fire was reported at an electrical substation, but officials did not say whether it was related to the ammunition explosion.

“We are in a state of emergency,” said Sergey Aksenov, Russia’s head of administration in Crimea.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak did not claim Ukraine’s responsibility for the incident, but tweeted that “Russian-occupied Crimea is about warehouse explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves”.

Last week, the Russian military blamed a series of explosions at Saki air base on an accidental detonation of munitions, but the incident appears to be a Ukrainian attack. Kyiv said the blasts destroyed nine Russian planes.

Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned last month that attacks on Crimea could lead to a “very quick and harsh apocalypse, immediately”.

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Latest developments:

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he believed Sweden and Finland could join NATO “very soon”. Scholz said Turkey, which had backed down, appears satisfied and the other six nations that have not approved the expansion are likely to do so soon.

Swiss chocolatier The Lindt & Sprüngli group has announced that it will “leave the Russian market”. The company had temporarily suspended operations in March.

►More than 1,350 corpses of Ukrainian civilians killed by the Russian occupiers have been found in the Kyiv region, regional police chief Andrii Niebytov said.

►Russia’s Federal Security Service has accused Ukraine of blowing up electricity pylons three times this month near a nuclear power plant in the western Russian city of Kursk.

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Russia’s Black Sea Fleet falters

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet “is struggling to exercise effective maritime control,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an assessment released on Tuesday. The fleet continues to use long-range cruise missiles to support ground offensives, but has been less effective due to the loss of its flagship, a significant portion of its naval aviation combat aircraft and control of Snake Island, according to the assessment.

The problems undermine Russia’s overall invasion strategy, in part because the amphibious threat to the crucial Ukrainian port of Odessa has now been largely neutralized, according to the assessment: “This means Ukraine can divert resources to pressure Russian ground forces elsewhere”.

Russian Bucha killings ‘a crime against humanity’, says Ban Ki-moon

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the world on Tuesday to pay tribute to the civilians who were killed when Russian ground forces attempted to invade the Ukrainian capital and eventually retreated from the vicinity of Kyiv. Ban, a former South Korean diplomat who served as general secretary between 2007 and 2016, traveled to Bucha, a town northwest of the Ukrainian capital where hundreds of civilians were found dead after the Russian withdrawal in late March .

“It’s hard to express my feelings. It is a horrible atrocity. It is a crime against humanity,” Ban told The Associated Press after visiting St. Andrew the Apostle Church. He said those responsible should be held accountable.

Putin ready, ready to arm the world

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his allies “the most advanced types of weapons”, promising to expand military cooperation with countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa. Putin, speaking at an arms fair, applauded his army’s actions in Ukraine while touting the key role Russian arms exports play in developing a “multipolar word”, the term used by the Kremlin to describe its efforts to compensate for what it perceives as US world domination.

“We are ready to offer our allies and partners the most advanced types of weapons: from guns, armor and artillery to combat aircraft and drones,” Putin said.

Despite the Russian leader’s claims about advanced weapons, experts said the Russian military fared far worse than expected during the Ukrainian invasion, and the British Ministry of Defense recently said it was very likely that Russia is deploying “unreliable and unpredictable” Soviet-era mines. .

Death toll of Ukrainian children rises, says Ukraine’s chief prosecutor

More than 1,000 Ukrainian children have been killed or injured as Russian troops continue to pound towns and villages with a barrage of missiles, often from batteries beyond the reach of Ukrainian army weapons.

Ukraine’s chief prosecutor said Monday that at least 361 Ukrainian children have died and 711 have been injured.

Russia has launched thousands of missile strikes, many of which rely on Soviet-era guidance systems. Ukrainian authorities say indiscriminate missile launches and Russian indifference to damage across Ukraine have claimed the lives of thousands of civilians.

Deaths of children have been recorded in Moscow. Former Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova recently made world news when she was arrested for a street protest. Last week, outside a Russian court, she held up a sign that read: “May murdered children haunt your dreams tonight.

Russia accuses sabotage of explosions in Crimea

Contributor: The Associated Press

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