Videos and photographs of an attack on the Novofedorivka – Saky air base in Crimea on 9 August 2022 starting appearing on social media just around lunchtime, UK time.
Early indications point to multiple areas being attacked on the air base. It is yet to be ascertained as to what has been targeted – and how exactly the attacks have taken place. Or if it was yet another accident that the Russian forces seem to be very good at having.
The explosions shown – possibly up to 12 of them – look to come from the area of munition storage facilities, and/or the fuel depot on the base.
The number of explosions does point more to an attack than an accident, but weapons “cooking off” and hitting other areas causing further explosions can’t be counted out – regardless of the initial cause of the explosions.
Saky is home to the 43rd Independent Naval Attack Aviation Regiment of the Black Sea fleet, operating Su-30SM, Su-24M and Su-24MR fighter aircraft.
The base also has an area for training for operations on Project 1143.5 CVGM Admiral Kuznetsov and has replica flight deck & ski ramp used to practice taking off from, and landing on, the carrier.
Satellite imagery captured by Planet at 0810z on 9 August 2022 – approximately 4 hours before the attack – shows based aircraft on the main apron and parking areas, as well as helicopters parked at the Southwestern part of the base at the replica Kuznetsov deck/landing area.
The size of explosions shown in videos does point to there likely being heavy damage and a large number of casualties.
The next question is – what was used in the attack? If, indeed, it was one.
As far as is known, the Ukrainian forces do not have a missile strike capability of the range needed from the frontline to the base location.
I’m sure more news will be coming forthwith.