KYIV, Ukraine — Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander in chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, on Wednesday for the first time admitted that Ukraine had carried out missile strikes that hit Russian military bases in annexed Crimea.
Ukraine has “successfully carried out missile strikes on enemy military bases, including Saki airfield,” Zaluzhnyi wrote in an article published by the state-run Ukrinform news agency.
Major blasts at the Saki air base in Crimea last month, which left at least one person dead and destroyed military aviation hardware, have been explained by Moscow as an accident.
But analysts have said that satellite imagery pointed to a likely attack by Ukrainian forces, with no public acknowledgment by Kyiv officials at that time.
Ukraine’s military sarcastically commented on Russia’s “technical difficulties,” saying they may have been caused by smokers in unauthorized areas.
Zaluzhnyi hailed as “successful” the efforts of the Ukrainian armed forces to “physically transfer fighting” to the territory of Crimea in recent weeks.
Russia uses the peninsula as a major base to attack Ukraine after Moscow launched the invasion in February, but Crimea has rarely been targeted.