Satellite Images Show Aftermath Of ATACMS Strikes In Crimea Airfield, Destroying Several S-300 and S-400 Launchers

Satellite images have been released showing the aftermath of a missile strike on a large military airfield in the city of Dzhankoi in annexed Crimea.

The two photos, dated April 27 and May 1, are from Planet Labs, a global imaging company in California, and were obtained by Radio Svoboda, the Russian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The publication said the second image showed the aftermath of a Ukrainian strike on the airfield on April 30.

Russia’s military uses the Dzhankoi, or Dzhankoy, air base in Crimea—which Moscow annexed in 2014—as a transport hub for personnel, ammunition and other equipment. On April 17, Ukraine claimed responsibility for a previous strike on the same airfield.

A Russian official and military bloggers said Kyiv attacked Crimea Tuesday with U.S.-supplied missiles—using Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS—from the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. Ukraine and Russia have not officially commented on the reported strikes. Newsweek has contacted Russian and Ukrainian authorities for comment by email.

Recently, the U.S. secretly sent Ukraine long-range ATACMS capable of hitting targets as far away as 300 kilometers (186 miles). Russian military bloggers fear Ukraine may use the missiles to target the Kerch Strait Bridge, which connects Russia with the annexed Crimean peninsula and serves as a key supply route for Russia’s forces.

The satellite image dated May 1 shows “traces of explosions” and “likely damaged launcher of Russian S-300 or S-400 air-defense system,” Radio Svoboda reported.

“The remaining installations, which can be seen in the April 27 image, were moved to another location,” the report continued.

Vladimir Rogov—the chair of We Are Together With Russia, a pro-Russian group that operates in the Moscow-occupied Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia—and Russian military bloggers said Tuesday that Ukraine had fired ATACMS at Crimea, but that they were downed by Russian air defense.

“Tonight, militants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine launched a missile attack on the Republic of Crimea,” Rogov wrote on Telegram. “Russian air defense worked over Dzhankoy and Simferopol. According to latest information, our defenders did an excellent job.”

Ukraine launched “several ATACMS ballistic missiles to attack the peaceful peninsula,” Rogov added.

Sergey Aksyonov, the Kremlin-backed leader of Crimea, said undetonated submunitions were scattered in the Simferopol area in the peninsula “after the downing of ATACMS missiles.”

He said on Telegram, “If you find this ammunition, do not pick it up, do not approach [them].”

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