News Bilder des Tages Ukraine-Konflikt, Rauch über Munitionslager auf der Krim CRIMEA, RUSSIA AUGUST 16, 2022: Smoke rises from a fire after detonation at a temporary ammunition storage site of a military unit near the village of Mayskoye, Dzhankoi District. Sergei Malgavko/TASS PUBLICATIONxINxGERxAUTxONLY TS13E334

The explosions at a Russian airfield and a supply hub in Crimea are very likely the start of a Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south. With this, the Institute for the Study of War estimates, the Ukrainian armed forces apparently want to regain control of the west bank of the Dnipro River.

According to local reports and video recordings, the explosions hit a Russian ammunition depot in the Dzhankoy region and an airfield near Hvardiyske. Both strikes severely affected Russian logistics in Crimea, which in turn affected the Russian army’s striking power in and around Kherson. The city is under Russian occupation, but Ukraine announced a counter-offensive in July to retake the city. The first steps taken by the Ukrainian side were the shelling of bridges that lead across the Dnipro and were essential for the supplies of the Russian army.

Thus, the attacks on Russian military infrastructure in Crimea would fall into this category of counterattacks, as analyzed by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). “The effects of this offensive will likely be to prevent Russian forces from keeping their troops stationed on the west bank of the Dnipro,” writes the ISW.

Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility for the attacks in Crimea. The New York Times quoted an anonymous Ukrainian officer as attributing the blasts in Jankoyskyy to an “Ukrainian elite unit” operating “behind enemy lines.” However, this information has not been officially confirmed. The Russian Defense Ministry described the explosions on Tuesday as an “act of sabotage”.

It is unlikely that Western weapons were used in the strikes, as the targets are further away from Ukrainian-controlled territory than the range of US Himars, for example. (mlk)

Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) is convinced that the only way to end the war in Ukraine is through negotiations. “Sanctions are right and so is the support for Ukraine,” said Kretschmer on Tuesday evening at a discussion in Dresden. But the war had to “be brought to a standstill as quickly as possible through negotiations”.

“I’m not counting on a military victory, that’s not my way,” said the Saxon head of government. Germany is a country that has to mediate and negotiate in such conflicts – together with the USA and the European Union, including China. (epd)

The imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has called for far more extensive sanctions from the West against Russian oligarchs because of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The opposition politician wrote online on Tuesday that Western sanctions have so far only affected 46 of the 200 richest people in Russia, according to Forbes magazine. “It doesn’t sound like a full-scale war against Putin’s oligarchs to me,” Navalny said.

The head of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexej Miller, is still not on the European Union’s sanctions list. The oligarch Roman Abramovich, on the other hand, was not subject to US sanctions, although his companies supplied “metal to the Russian Defense Ministry”. The West is still not using the “stick” against the elite around President Vladimir Putin and is giving them “all their carrots,” criticized Navalny.

“I call on all voters and parliamentarians in the EU, in Great Britain, in the USA and Canada to put pressure on the executive and force them to stop practicing demagogy and urgently decide on massive personal sanctions against Putin’s thieves,” said Navalny out. (AFP)

Advisor to the Ukrainian President Mykhailo Podolyak spoke to Britain’s The Guardian about the army’s strategy. The aim of the counter-offensive is to incite “chaos among Russian forces” by attacking Russia’s supply lines deep in the occupied territories.

In addition, there could be more attacks on Russian-held territory in the “next two or three months,” similar to those of the past week. Several fighter jets were destroyed by explosions during an attack on a military base in Saky in Russian-occupied Crimea. On Tuesday, near the village of Maiskoye, an ammunition depot in a camp of Russian troops exploded. Ukraine is keeping a low profile about the exact course of events and is not openly claiming the attacks.

At least 361 children have been killed during Russia’s war of aggression, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office. The value has therefore not increased for ten days. According to unconfirmed data, at least 711 children were physically injured.