Ukraine says 9 Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts
Ukraine's air force said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in massive explosions at an air base in Crimea amid speculation they were the result of a Ukrainian attack that would represent a significant escalation in the war.
Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday's blasts — or that any attack took place.
Ukrainian officials have stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while poking fun at Russia's explanation that munitions at the Saki air base caught fire and blew up and also underscoring the importance of the peninsula that Moscow annexed eight years ago.
In his nightly video address several hours after the blasts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed to retake the peninsula, saying that "this Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea — its liberation."