Locals shared video and photos of an alleged explosion and told they had heard loud blasts and seen black smoke rising from the direction of a Russian military airbase at Novofedorivka in western Crimea on 9 August, Reuters reported.
Novofedorivka airfield (formerly Saky-4) is home to the Nitka Ground Test Training Complex for Naval Aviation of Russia built in the Soviet Union to train pilots of carrier-borne aircraft and helicopters for carrier take-off and landing. Before seizing and annexing Crimea,the airfield was leased by Russia from Ukraine for decades. After the occupation of the peninsula, the Saky base was used by Russian warplanes to strike areas in Ukraine’s south.
Skhemy published a satellite image of the military airfield, which was taken by the Planet Labs apparatus four hours before the explosions. Journalists note that this base is one of the key ones for Russian aviation on the peninsula which consists mainly of Su-30SM, Su-33 fighter planes, and Su-24M bombers. The images show at least a dozen Su family fighters and 14 Su-24 bombers.
Konstantin Skorupsky, the head of Crimea’s health care department reported that 5 people were wounded. Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, informed that 1 person was killed in the attack.
Tourists and residents are leaving Novofedorivka en masse, and traffic jams have started over the occupied peninsula.