“Several munitions intended for aviation exploded in a depot located on the territory of the Saki military airfield, near the town of Novofiodorovka,” the Russian army said in a statement. Explosions left one dead and injured at an ammunition depot at a military airfield in Crimea. The Russian army claimed that no shooting or bombardment had been the cause of these explosions, first reported by the authorities of this peninsula unilaterally attached to Russia in 2014 and on the front line in the Russian offensive against Ukraine launched on February 24.
The main information:
– Explosions at an ammunition depot in Crimea left one injured dead
– Russian gas deliveries to several European countries interrupted
– Two new ships loaded with grain left Ukraine
– Russia has launched an Iranian observation satellite, Tehran refutes
Videos posted on social media showed a fireball forming after a loud blast, as thick billows of black smoke rose into the sky and holidaymakers panicked from the nearby beach. Crimean leader Sergey Aksionov said one person was killed in the blasts and his health minister, Konstantin Skoroupsky, said five people were injured, including a child.
“The tourists are not in danger. We ask you to keep calm,” said a Russian deputy elected in this peninsula, Alexei Tcherniak. Because, despite the conflict, Crimea has remained an important vacation spot for many Russians who continue to enjoy the summer on its shores.
Stopping Russian gas supplies to EU member states
At the same time, deliveries of Russian oil through Ukrainian territory to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, member states of the European Union without access to the sea, were interrupted on 4 August, the Russian company responsible for transporting hydrocarbons announced on Tuesday.
Transneft explained that the payment for the right of transit through Ukraine for the month of August, made on July 22, was refused on July 28 because of the entry into force of certain sanctions against Russia. These are supplies via a branch of the Druzhba pipeline crossing Ukraine and serving the three countries concerned. Deliveries to Poland and Germany, through Belarus, “continue” on the other hand “normally”, assured Transneft.
Progressive EU embargo on Russian gas
The EU has been trying since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine to reduce its energy dependence on Russia, which it accuses of using its hydrocarbon supplies as a “weapon of war”, and has opted in June for a gradual embargo on Russian oil. In particular, crude oil imports by boat are expected to stop within six months, while the Russians have sharply reduced their gas shipments to Europe in recent weeks.
Supply by the Druzhba pipeline, on the other hand, has been authorized to be extended “provisionally”, without a deadline. A concession obtained by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who cultivates his relations with Vladimir Putin and on whom the country depends for 65% of its consumption on this cheap Russian oil.
Two new ships loaded with grain leave Ukraine
At the same time, the regular rotations by the Black Sea to supply the world agricultural markets started last week, under an agreement signed on July 22 by the belligerents, continued with the departure Tuesday from the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk of two ships loaded of 70,000 tons of grain.
In the battle-stricken eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, more than 3,000 civilians, including 600 children, have been evacuated since authorities made such evacuations mandatory in late July, kyiv said. There is now only “a population of 350,000 people, including 50,000 children”, about 1.3 million having left in total following the outbreak of the war.
An Iranian observation satellite launched by Russia
Russia launched an Iranian observation satellite from Kazakhstan on Tuesday which, according to the American press, could be used by Moscow to support its offensive in Ukraine, which Tehran refutes. The Khayyam remote sensing satellite was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome at 5:52 a.m. GMT, according to images broadcast live by Russian space agency Roscosmos.