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International - August 12, 2022

Zelensky: Liberation of Crimea is necessary for the end of the Ukraine war.

Zelensky: Liberation of Crimea is necessary for the end of the Ukraine war.

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President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared that the liberation of Crimea is necessary for the end of the Ukrainian conflict.

The president of Ukraine was speaking after several bombings targeted a nearby Russian airbase, resulting in one fatality.

While avoiding mentioning the explosions from Tuesday, Mr. Zelensky stated that “Crimea is Ukrainian and we will never give it up.”

According to the Russian defense ministry, munitions exploded at the base. In the meantime, Ukraine denied being behind the explosions.

Separately, according to Ukrainian sources, 13 persons were killed in midnight Russian strikes in the southern Zaporizhzhia area and the center Dnipropetrovsk district.

Although Crimea is widely acknowledged to be a part of Ukraine, Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in 2014 following a referendum that the international community views as invalid. For many Ukrainians, this marks the beginning of their conflict with Russia.

On Tuesday, a series of explosions rocked the Saky military base near Novofedorivka, in the west of Crimea – which is near seaside resorts popular with Russian tourists.

Novofedorivka and Saky are about 50km (30 miles) north of the port of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which has been leading a blockade of the Ukrainian coastline. The airbase had been used by Russia to launch attacks on targets deep inside Ukraine.

Footage on social media showed beachgoers running as the explosions hit, with witnesses saying they had heard at least 12 blasts. Crimea’s Russian-appointed health department said one civilian had been killed and another eight injured.

Although this has not been independently verified, Russia’s defense ministry stated that the explosions were caused by munitions that burst in a store and that there was no “fire effect” from the outside.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential assistant from Ukraine, also refuted claims that his country was responsible for the explosions, telling the Dozhd online television channel: “Obviously not. What connection do we have to this?”

Moscow would take any Ukrainian attack on Crimea very seriously. Ex-President Dmitry Medvedev’s ultimatum that “Judgement Day will instantly await” if Ukraine attacked Crimea last month served as a warning to Russia.


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