Explosions at Belbek Airfield in Crimea: Significant Damage to Russian Fighter Jets
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies 

Crimea – Recent satellite imagery from Planet.com, taken over Belbek Airfield on May 16, reveals substantial damage following an attack that targeted the airfield. The imagery shows areas where Russian Su-27, Su-30, and MiG-31 fighter jets were previously parked, with evidence of significant destruction.

Maxar’s high-resolution images confirm that two MiG-31s and one Su-27 were destroyed. This information, initially highlighted by the Radio Liberty Russian Service and further investigated by The New York Times’ Christiaan Triebert, sheds light on the aftermath of the attack.

Details: The full extent of the damage remains unclear, as the only available comparison is an image from May 1. Ukrainian sources have unofficially reported that Russia lost three aircraft in the attack. Additional damage includes the destruction of the airfield’s fuel and lubricants storage facility, which completely burned down.

Christiaan Triebert has posted high-quality images on X (Twitter), providing a clearer view of the destruction. Triebert’s analysis suggests that, in addition to the destroyed MiG-31s and Su-27, one MiG-29 was also damaged. The damage to fuel and lubricant tanks has been confirmed.

Background: On the evening of May 15, local authorities in the temporarily occupied city of Sevastopol reported explosions and a response by air defense systems. The Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that their air defense systems shot down “five ATACMS tactical missiles” over Crimea during the night of May 15-16.

Reports from the Astra channel, citing two sources, indicated a fire at the airfield, while the Krymskiy Veter (Crimean Wind) channel reported that the airfield’s fuel depot had been hit. Despite these reports, Russian-controlled authorities in Crimea claimed that the attack had been repelled.

An air-raid warning was issued in Crimea on the night of May 14-15, leading to a temporary suspension of traffic on the Crimean Bridge. Air defenses responded to the attack, and explosions were heard across the region.

This incident underscores the ongoing tension and conflict in the region, with significant implications for both military assets and infrastructure in Crimea. The destruction of multiple fighter jets and critical fuel storage facilities represents a notable setback for Russian forces stationed in the area.

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