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Massive explosion rocks Crimean air base, destroys 7 Russian fighter jets

(CNN)At least seven Russian fighter planes destroyed after explosion rocked annexed Crimea on Tuesday A study found in new satellite imagery from CNN shows what could be the largest loss of a military plane in Moscow in a single day since World War II.

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The destroyed fighters appear to be Su-24 bombers and Su-30 multirole fighters, said Griffith Asia Research Fellow and former Royal Australian Air Force pilot, who investigated Planet Labs. said Peter Leighton. A satellite image of the Saki base before and after the explosion.

He also appears to have two fighters damaged, Layton said. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military added nine aircraft to a tally of Russian military equipment they said had been destroyed sinceRussia's invasion of Ukrainebegan in February. Added aircraft.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said it could not determine the cause of the explosion at an air base 225 kilometers (140 miles) behind the Russian front lines, according to the War Research Institute. tank.

The social media video has been verified by CNN as being from an Air Force base and has been geographically identified. Smoke is shown rising from the base. Smoke is then rocked by his three massive fiery explosions, and a black mushroom cloud rises into the sky. The two explosions occur almost simultaneously, and the third explosion occurs shortly after.

Satellite images also show that the blast burned through the vegetation around parts of the air force base.

"Explosive Propagation"

Layton said satellite imagery showed a deliberate attack rather than an accident due to the presence of three large craters. rice field.

Whatever the cause of the crater, other Russian munitions may have detonated, Layton said. Hot debris can be sent to adjacent bombs and detonated, which is called blast propagation," Layton said. "In the images of the Russian air base, three sources of explosions can be seen. These separated adjacent aircraft, which were believed to be bomb-bearing. The explosions propagated."

Russian ammunition was not designed to avoid such chain reaction explosions, Layton added.

"Moscow also had an internal explosion when the warheads of the anti-ship cruise missiles it carried self-detonated," he noted. It exploded," Layton said. "This was an explosive that burned until it detonated.

"Russian weaponry is no safer than Western weaponry in terms of warhead explosive sensitivity. It's a stockpile of the former Soviet Union, and the technology is very old," he said.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, the blast also caused damage to nearby towns, with windows in several buildings broken. Blown away.

In the last 24 hours he appears to have left the air force base with four helicopters and his four-engined plane, satellite images taken before and after the attack show. It seems

Zelensky's Oath to Crimea

Since 2014, the Saki Air Base has been part of the Russian Naval Aviation Regiment, part of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, according to the country. It is based. It operates the RIA-Novosti news service.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in her 2014. Resident Vladimir Putin sent troops to what was then an autonomous region of southern Ukraine, with strong Russian loyalties.

In early March of that year, thousands of Russian-speaking troops in unmarked uniforms surged onto the peninsula. Two weeks after that, Russia completed its annexation of Crimea, condemned by Ukraine and much of the world as illegitimate.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Tuesday that the war would "start and end in Crimea." The number of aircraft destroyed at the base marks Tuesday as one of the most devastating days for Russian military aviation in more than 70 years, including during the Soviet era.

CNN's review of the sparse data available on military aircraft losses in Soviet-era and contemporary Russia found that a single incident in a single day could account for such losses. It is not shown what happened.

At least one person was killed and at least nine injured in the explosion, according to a statement from the Crimean Ministry of Health.