Explosions in Sevastopol, Crimea – World

Explosions yesterday in Sevastopol and in the surrounding areas of the city, in Crimea, were reported by Telegram channels and relaunched by the Ukrainian media. According to Radio Svoboda, yesterday evening there were other explosions near the military airport of Belbek, also in Crimea, unilaterally annexed by Russia. Even Simferopol residents wrote on social networks that they heard the sound of explosions near the Belbek airport.

During the night, the Russian army repeatedly struck the residential districts of Nikopol, a city in eastern Ukraine opposite Zaporizhzhia, said the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko. “There was a lot of enemy shelling in the Nikopol region last night. The Russians hit the district center with heavy artillery,” he said. In addition to homes, a gas pipeline and an electricity grid were also damaged. Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Ukrainian army announced that it had repelled attacks by Russian troops near 10 settlements in Donetsk and Lugansk in the last day.

The Russian army will lose up to 70,000 men in the next 4-5 months, but the Kremlin appears to be “ready” to deal with these losses, Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andrii Cherniak said, as reported by the Kyiv Independent. Russia will likely “continue offensive operations this year,” Cherniak said, adding that the Russians “understand they will lose” on the battlefield, but have no intention of ending the war. Ukrainian intelligence, the spokesman continued, is “sure” that Moscow will still try to capture the Donetsk region and will do everything to keep its land corridor on the southern coast towards the occupied Crimea. Senior Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, are warning that Russia could launch a major offensive from multiple directions early this year. Russian troops “could attack simultaneously from the north and east,” Cherniak said, but “these enemy actions are expected and our troops are ready,” he added. The Kyiv Independent notes that Russia’s achievements on the battlefield remain limited, even though fighting has been very hard in the east and south of the country. Russian troops have been forced to withdraw from 40 percent of the Ukrainian territories they occupied at the start of the invasion in February.