LONDON, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday blamed saboteurs for orchestrating a series of explosions at an ammunition depot in Russian-annexed Crimea, a rare admission that armed groups loyal to Ukraine are damaging military logistics and supply lines on territory it controls. The incident follows a series of explosions last week at a Russian-operated air base in Crimea which Ukrainian officials hinted were part of some kind of special operation but which Moscow said at the time was an accident.
Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement published by state news agencies on Tuesday that nobody had been seriously injured in the latest explosions, which it said had also damaged power lines, an electricity substation, railway infrastructure and some residential housing in northern Crimea. Footage on Russian state TV showed an electricity substation on fire near the town of Dzhankoi in Crimea and a series of large explosions on the horizon which authorities said were caused by ammunition detonating at a military base.
It was not immediately clear how saboteurs had triggered the blasts, though Russian state media speculated they may have used small drones to bomb the ammo depot and other facilities.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from Ukraine, which is battling to push back Russian forces nearly six months into the war that began with Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion. Two senior Ukrainian officials took to Twitter to exult in the explosions, however, with one, presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak, hinting at possible Ukrainian involvement while stopping short of confirming such a role.
Comment: When I read this news about multiple explosions in the Dzhankoi area of Crimea, I could vividly hear that Limelighters version of this old Yiddish song from the Stalinist collective era. I listened to this album repeatedly as a kid. I loved the Limelighters. Great theme music for partisan/SOF work, I think. Pete Seeger added that one “brotherhood of man” verse after he returned from a trip to Dzhankoi and the collectives in the area. This was before the North Crimean Canal brought water to the region.
Here’s the Limelighters singing “Hey Zhankoye” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQ9ZPlfQSIc
These overnight strikes at Russian ammo depots and a electric substation was clearly the work of Ukrainian partisans and SOF teams. SOF teams, by themselves, would have a more difficult time operating in that dry, mostly treeless agricultural land without the active assistance of local partisans. It’s classic UW operations done in coordinated support of the wider war’s goals.
These strikes, acknowledged by the Russians as partisan strikes, lends more credence to the idea that the earlier strikes at the Saky Airbase were also the work of partisans/SOF, rather than the work of Ukrainian long range missiles. In other partisan news, a railway bridge south of Melitopol was destroyed cutting another link to Crimea. DOL.
those guys can really smoke up a storm.
in Panoramic Stereo… Left & Right channels together.
the Limelighters too, very cool.
Sending saboteurs behind enemy lines to damage infrastructure or perform assassinations is pretty SOP, yes? Risky for Germans landed from a submarine on Long Island, but duck soup for Eastern Ukrainians, being ethnically and linguistically largely identical to Russians. By the same token Russian sympathizers doubtless feed much targeting information in Ukraine to Russian command. The Russians unlike the Ukrainians (for the most part) don’t need sabotage teams since they have the upper hand in stand off high precision weapons. Sending brave young men behind the lines like this is sort of indicative of which side is winning.
You still don’t seem to understand the difference between direct action by SOF and SOF led UW in cooperation with partisans.
UW requires an underground and auxiliary in addition to a guerilla force. The ingredients for all three of those elements are already present in the occupied zones of Ukraine. SOF and SF are the secret sauce to this mix, not absolutely necessary, but a tremendously enhancing element.
It is obvious that Ukrainian partisan actions can pinpoint strategic hits, w/o the associated civilian damage done by Russia’s heavy artillery attacks.
These partisan hits into the Crimea area likely to cause 1) WTF? consternation/finger pointing within Russian leadership and 2) draw more Russian military resources away from front lines into Crimea.
These strikes are still causing massive traffic jams at the Kerch bridge. Good. The less Russian in Crimea, the better. If Russia has any hope of stopping them, they need to pull a lot of troops off the front and use them for rear area security… a lot of troops. It took the NKVD several divisions and many years to squelch the Armed partisan resistance in Lithuania. And they didn’t have any assistance from the West.
Crimea never wanted to belong to Ukraine. Chrustchev “gifted” Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 when that had no meaning. Im 1992 the Crimean parliament proclaimed independence (which was not recognised by Russia and therefore had no effect) and in 1994 a pro Russian prime minister was elected. Only threat of violence by Kiev finally resulted in Crimea staying with Ukraine and even in the Ukrainian census of 2001 more than 60% of the population declared themselves ethnically Russian. These are simple historical facts that anybody can look up in Wikipedia.
There is no basis for a pro Ukrainian partisan movement in Crimea. Sabotage groups might infiltrate from Ukraine but won´t be able to count on local support.
The Crimean Tatars would disagree. Ukraine is far more supportive of Tatar ancestral claims on Crimea that Russia. Moscow has been trying to erase the Tatars from Crimea since annexation, as well as long before that.
Tartars are just very recent invaders.
What ancestral claims are you talking about?
The Crimean Khanate, ruled by Tatars, existed from the 14th through the 18th century. They trace their roots back to the Golden Horde and are considered the indigenous people of Crimea. The Russians reduced their 6 million population to 300,000 from the time of Russian annexation in 1783 to the Russian Revolution in 1917. Stalin’s 1944 mass deportation of the Tatars KILLED over 100,000. Many of the deported returned after 1988 with Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika reforms. Russia returned to the persecution of the Crimean Tatars in 2014. Today there are some 300,000 Tatars in Crimea, 12% of the population.
OMG the Limelighter’s, my most favorite college days music group ever. At a 5oth reunion it was amazing how many of my housemates remembered me for that one thing. The Limelighters brought the world of international folk music into my life at that early age. A few years back two of the originals put on a “reunion” show, but without the trademark voice of Glen Yarborough it lacked its unique trio appeal. Much like the Beach Boys without its essential Brian Wilson falsetto.
I had an English penpal in 4th grade who sent me clippings of his favorite musical group… the Beatles. This was before they were known in the States. I sent him info on the Limelighters.
I once traded a Willie Nelson tape for a homemade, very mournful Russian folksinger at the Russia-Mongolia border, while we waited for the undercarriage change that allowed our Russian Trans Siberian train cars to travel on the different width Mongolian tracks.
When I later played this homemade Russian tape on my brand new auto sound system, it totally gummed up the works and stopped working. The repair technician asked me how I get the new system so dirty so fast?
Deep, my fav was Kingston Trio… Hang Down Your Head John Dooley.
errr, Tom Dooley!
Those were the days, my friends ……….we thought they would never end……..
I found a twitter account that has a wealth of photos and videos of the massive Russian ammo and equipment depots at Dzhankoi. Ammo and missile launchers destined for a concentrated mass strike at Ukrainian targets coordinated to take place on Ukrainian Independence Day stretch out from the rail line. They don’t appear to be well guarded or protected in any way. Unexploded ordinance from the strikes was hurled five kilometers from the blast sites. This appears to be just as big as the Saky Airbase strike and it’s all part of a coordinated plan.
why are they doing this now, 6 months in, and just a few days after the airport job?
Using everything they have in an act of desperation or a preparation for a major action?
You think an effective resistance capable of multiple large guerilla attacks can spring up overnight. It takes a lot of organization, training and planning for that to happen. You really have no clue how UW works, do you?
I don’t, that’s why I’m asking. Was it not you that mentioned sone time ago that NATO has been instructing Ukraine in conducting UW before the invasion? If true, it would mean that Ukraine has been preparing for UWmuch longer than 6 months.
Again, it seems to me that they would get more bang for their buck if they did not carry another major hit so soon after the airport raid. Let your enemy’s morale recover a bit and then hit again.
Yes, Ukraine has been preparing for UW as part of their total resistance strategy. But learning how to do UW and making plans for UW are only part of the process. Setting up a full resistance in an occupied area capable of making these kinds of strikes takes a long time. We planned and trained for UW in Poland, but were well aware that it would take months for it to be effective, if we survived that long. The unspoken expectation was that the the Reserve and Guard SF units would be doing most of that because we were expected to have a high mortality rate.
These strikes are not one offs. They are part of a sustained campaign. We want to keep hammering the enemy when they are down.
‘These strikes are not one offs. They are part of a sustained campaign. We want to keep hammering the enemy when they are down.’
Are you implying that you are not merely an interested commentator, but actively contributing to this effort?
I identify with them, but I’m not part of this effort. I wish I was.
I suppose that modern technology, encrypted comms over the internet and especially drones make countering this sort of warfare much more difficult than it was in the cold war era. Plus the Ukrainians blend in perfectly.
So now, in addition to the 25km traffic jam of people trying to leave Crimea, there is another jam-up of Russians wanting to go home. This time at the train stations. But none of the trains are running on time after the attack Dzhankoy. Why the Russian Army logisticians would stack up hundreds of crates of ammunition right next to a civilian train station is beyond my ken.
The Ukrainian partizans have been busy the last day or two. Not only Dzhankoy. They also took down power lines and a section of railway in Russia’s Kursk area. Plus they damaged the rails to Kupyansk, a key supply line to Russian troops in the Donbas.
Meanwhile Putin responds with more nuclear blackmail at the Zaporizhzhiya NPP, and attempts to cut off electric power to Ukrainian controlled territory, plus more shelling of residential areas.
Limeliters reminds me of a lot of good music way back then. We checked out Lps at the library and listened to them at home. Pete Seeger was a master writer and singer. Too bad he was the ‘totalitarian trubadour’.
Your last comment disgusts me. I’m doing you the favor of trashing it. Would you prefer the Horst Wessel Lied?
OK. I’m sorry.
But, a little night music does not smooth things over when you are waging war on Russia while simultaneously singing a love song to a city that is well known as being a very Russian city. And that is Odessa.
The greatest short story that was ever written is said to be Chekhov’s The Lady and the Dog. It shows something about what Crimea means to Russia. They are not going to let it go.
Odessa is a Russian city ?
It’s population is about 1 million.
Where were all these Russians during the events of 2014 when dozens of people lost their lives in the Trade Union House fire ?
Unarmed people will not confront people with guns. That was the situation when Ukrainian nationalists massacred Odessa autonomists in Odessa in 2014. Check this documentary by a German filmmaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OErKKcuBTlY
After Odessa people who wanted to fight back against Ukrainian nationalists went to Donbass. Here a snippet from an article by Elena Kosyuchenko. She is a Russian but very much anti-Putin journalist who reports from the Ukrainian side. ““The way I see it, the May 2 story became one of those flashpoints that kindled the conflagration in the Donbass. I knew many people who enlisted and went to Donbass after what happened in Odessa. That’s when it really started in earnest.””
You can check out the whole article here: https://www.nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/sandbagging-in-odessa/
I have no idea how many people exactly would be pro Russian or pro Ukrainian in Odessa. I only know that the population is anything but unanimous and suspect that a large wouldn´t mind one way or another.
A new form of “clever” censorship on Youtube which I see more and more often, the page loads properly but the video stream itself doesn’t and loops endlessly.
There are plenty of firearms in a city the size of Odessa. Both legal and illegal.
Was police unarmed as well ?
The Russians admitting that they were hit by saboteurs is not ‘rare’, as the article is stating. Nor do they have any reason to hide this fact from a wider audience, if they truly believe the vast majority of the population on Crimea are glad to be Russian these days. They will need the population to hunt those ‘SOF’s’ down. And they will be successful if it is true that the vast majority on Crimea reject Kiev’s claim on that piece of real estate. Yet there will be losses, especially if the ‘SOF’s’ don’t have to get close to their target, using drones to blow up vital infrastructure, as well as storage facilities for ammunition.
As those who read my previous contributions will acknowledge, I always maintained that NATO envisioned using ‘stay behind’ (Gladio) saboteurs, after a grueling ‘Blitzkrieg’ type of war, with the Russians taking all of Ukraine, leaving scores of Russian soldier dead while storming heavily fortified positions and carefully designed trenches, which never happened. NATO had to recalculate and amend their strategy, when Russia turned it into an artillery-war, and these attacks are the result. We’ll know soon enough whether these saboteurs are receiving plenty of support, as their fans on this website are stating, or whether they are limited to ‘hit and run’, and need to be careful not to get caught, and dragged through the streets by an angry mob.
Jake for the 10th time Russia invaded Ukraine, Ukraine d/n invade Russia. Russia refused to give Ukraine independence for over 120 years (while the Austrian Grand Duke and the Czar held west and east Ukraine – b/f WW I!) and it was a sure thing that Russia would invade Ukraine sometime after August of ’91 b/c Ukrainians declared they were a free people. In fact Putin, has said Ukrainians don’t exist and he will return that region to a Russian administrative unit. This is a war of independence. Slavic and Baltic nations that have offered to help Ukraine are not out to destroy Russia, its the reverse. NATO is helping Ukraine b/c Russia threatens to return the pan-slavic region to pre 1914. This threatens a greater war b/c the Slavic world will not accept Russian domination any more. And for “Pete’s sake” this has nothing to do with Financial Capitalism which, BTW, is just another Marxists “make up” word.
BR, very well stated!!!!
What worries me most, is the disappearing ‘middle class’, together with the ‘middle ground’. We really shouldn’t insist on telling people how they need to frame a conflict, or how to interpret certain concepts, if we refuse to engage in a serious debate. I’ve been called a ‘fascist’, a ‘marxist’, a ‘right wing nut’, a ‘left wing nut’, and I simply do not care any more. If we now enter an ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ stage on this website, with only semantics as a topic for debate, so be it. But I would strongly advise against it.
RT news said this was the case from day one. It wasn’t missiles. This is a missile attack:
I am impressed not only by classic folk music & blues, but by Ukraine’s wise & consistent approach to warfare w/ the colossus that is Russia. They are extremely efficient w/ their forces. They avoid the style / scale / location of combat that advantages Russia. They display a high level of competence in all aspects of modern & classic warfare – training, revolutionary weapons & tactics, transport & logistical savvy, morale, integrated domains (air/land/sea), urban warfare, asymmetric warfare, RMA, cyberwar, precision fires, Spl Ops, partisan insurgency. I’ve been reminded of almost every defense sector conference, presentation, 1:1 meeting, annual convention, Industry Day, training site, demo & open bar reception I ever attended over 25 yrs of participating from the industry side of the room.
Ukraine is getting it right … so far. sure they can lose, of course it can devolve into a stalemate that wears all down to meaningless victory (or none at all). but they are setting the pace, places & style of battle. really… quite impressive. beyond that we are witnessing a watershed between past & present warfare between symmetrical forces. or maybe they are just lucky… & Vlad? a legend in his own mind. a blues lyric for him.
And the days keeps on worryin’ me
There’s a hellhound on my trail, hellhound on my trail
Hellhound on my trail
I don’t get the R. Johnson ref. Ukraine is destroyed. Over 1T in damages and counting, millions of refugees are not returning. There is no money to repair it. Nobody will admit this harsh stone cold reality. Katrina is getting on 20 years and still areas have not recovered. This is ONE US CITY from a STORM. This is an entire country from WAR. It will never recover ok. It’s over with. Russia is not repairing it either. Nobody is repairing it.
Rebuilding is not just a matter of money. The Ukrainians will rebuild much with an indomitable spirit, strong backs and the sweat of their brows. That won’t make everything like it was before, but in many ways, it will make it better.
Ah! You mean they will “Build Back Better”? 🙂
Perhaps the Clinton Global Initiative can give it a go. Look at what they accomplished in Haiti with UN help and no war to worry about.
How many western Ukrainians, far from the line of fire, immediately skedaddled across the border into the safe embrace of the nearest EU country pleading for refugee status and EU membership – which I suspected is what they wanted all along. I believe the number was in the millions? That made me an early Ukraine cynic.
those women & children… the elderly… what cowards! shoulda relaxed, waited to be captured & taken far behind enemy lines, never to be seen again… a fine Russian tradition.
Or they could have joined their other fellow Ukranians enjoying beach holidays, as photos have shown ……during the height of this “war”.
You presume far more Russian efficiencies to handle them as millions of new Russian gulag occupants, than the Russians have shown so far. Unless they are now taking lessons from the Wash DC Jan 6 gulag operators.
that’s a bit dramatic. Compared with the aftermath of WWII this is just minor damage in just one country. And it is not the whole country, mostly Mariupol, Irpin, Severodonetsk and other areas where the worst of the fighting occurred.
Both sides have already started rebuilding…
when I say “minor damage” I realize that some towns have been absolutely devastated but compared to the whole country of Ukraine which is huge, it is a small percentage. It is not like Kiev, Kharkov, Donetsk, Lviv, Odessa, Dnipro, Zaporozye and other major centers were levelled.
The real damage hasn’t started yet. The Euro energy crisis is REAL.
I tell you what though, we will revisit this in 36 months. You are going to accept something you don’t want to accept and then we can finally move on life every other time the media lies and has no answer when it blows up in their face. See you in 2025.
I was referring to your claims that Ukraine is destroyed and that no one is repairing it.
As for the European energy crisis, I never said it wasn’t real. The current dependency on Russian gas and oil is a fact and it is a bit of a scramble at the moment to find some interim solution.
The crisis will last for a time and then it will be overcome.
KED, my youngest son while in Atlanta, Ga, and in music school, dropped out. Joined up with a touring blues band and 2 months later was touring England, Scotland, Wales, for 3 weeks. Really launched him on a successful music career since for nearly 20 yrs. Has never looked back as it’s been “Hellbound on the trail!”, as he met that “…little sweet woman and to keep my company…” Johnson so hoped for.
Al, that’s fantastic. music is a gift. any kinda of career in music is a tough road… your son knew what he wanted / needed to do… & made it! pro musicians may be the vocation having the highest IQ / lowest compensation differential. all the music teachers, all those active in their communities, so many others aspiring to make a go of it. my SO has incredible talent; voice & stage presence – reads music, plays piano, guitar & flute … she simply loves singing mass (utility player at Synagogue too) & w/ American Songbook combos – I’m a lucky no talent guy.
Ked, Amazing the talent out there playing for just tips! Like you stated, the talent/pay differential is huge.
After 6 yrs playing resorts in Carribean for just enough to scrap by, son relocated to Austin, TX, with wife met on island.. Doing quite well now.
Playing music for a living is not hard. I have played for over 25 years for fun. Not a big deal. Hopefully he will get drafted and learn that freedom is not free. Somebody has to pay the price at some point.
Russians voting with their feet. Wonder when MoA will move to Xi’s communist utopia or Putin’s paradise?
Sam, regarding those fleeing Russia:
Report: 12% of Russian Jews Have Left Since Start of Ukraine War in March
Russia’s threats to shut down Jewish Agency raise alarm bells for those who remember the past
Ukraine war: Thousands of Jews quit Russia amid fears of persecution
Dedicated to all those who do think the Good Old Days were pretty good, and we have done a lot of good since then trying to fix what was not. Take a bow, fellow oldsters:
From the D Brief by Defense One today:
Even before those explosions in occupied Crimea, a “record 38,000 cars crossed the Crimea bridge” and headed out of the peninsula on Monday. There were also “reports of huge queues at Simferopol train station” in Crimea on Tuesday, where “People [are] clearly expecting more instability,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Luxmoore