Blast at Putin’s Crimea Airfield Wiped Out Half of His Black Sea Jets


Blast at Putin's Crimea Airfield Wiped Out Half of His Black Sea Jets

More than half of Russia’s
naval aviation combat jets from its Black Sea fleet were knocked out in a
series of explosions at a Russian airbase in Crimea earlier this month,
according to a western official cited in a Reuters report Friday.

The official, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, also said that Ukraine was now steadily exacting
“kinetic effects” far behind Russia’s lines in the ongoing war that
began February 24. This is impacting Russia’s logistics support, as well as having
“a significant psychological effect on the Russian leadership,” the
official said.

Newsweek was not able to
independently verify the Russian jet losses and reached out to Russia’s Defense
Ministry for confirmation and comment.

The Saki airfield was hit with
a series of blasts on August 9 that Russia’s Defense Ministry
attributed to detonated aviation ammunition. The state-owned news agency Ria
Novosti reported at the time that one person was killed and several others were
injured, but Russia has denied that any aircraft were destroyed, according to
the Associated Press.

Still, there have been
unconfirmed indications that this is not the case.

The British Ministry of
Defence said in its August 12 intelligence update that at least five
Su-24 FENCER fighter-bombers and three SU-30 FLANKER H multi-role jets were
“almost certainly destroyed or seriously damaged in the blasts” at

“The loss of eight combat
jets represents a minor proportion of the overall fleet of aircraft Russia has
available to support the war,” the update read. “However, [Saki] was
primarily used as a base for the aircraft of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea
Fleet. The fleet’s naval aviation capability is now significantly

The update added that the
explosions will “likely prompt the Russian military to revise its threat

“Crimea has probably been
seen as a secure rear-area,” it said.


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