Four communities in Russian-occupied Crimea are evacuating more than 2,000 residents after a fire at a nearby weapons stockpile set off hours of blasts.

A section of the highway that crosses the southern side of the peninsula was likewise closed by Russian-installed officials.

The reason of the fire at a military training facility close to Staryi Krim was not disclosed.

On social media, however, there were unsubstantiated reports of three Ukrainian strikes.

Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, was informed about the incident, according to the Kremlin.

The Russian missile and drone attack, which officials said was primarily aimed at the southern Ukrainian city of Odesa, occurred at the same time as the midnight blasts.

According to Ukraine’s air force, Iranian-made drones and waves of cruise missiles launched from the Black Sea, Crimea, and southern Russia assaulted critical infrastructure and military facilities.

Despite the fact that 37 Russian missiles and drones were shot down, some still managed to get past Ukrainian defenses. Numerous people were hurt, according to Odesa officials, and several apartments were damaged. The port’s grain and petroleum terminals as well as two warehouses, one of which was said to contain fireworks, were all attacked.

“I saw a red flash in the window and reacted immediately,” one resident told the Reuters news agency.

“The moment I fell on the floor behind the bed, all the windows were blown out.

“I went downstairs, it was noisy and filled with smoke outside, people were in panic, some were crying, glass shards were scattered all over. It was impossible to remain the area.”

It was the second night in a row that Odesa was targeted, in attacks linked to Russia’s withdrawal from an international deal enabling grain and fertiliser to be exported safely across the Black Sea.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of deliberately targeting sites used to export grain.

By gvoice

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