UK says Saky explosions leave Russian Navy Black Sea aviation fleet 'significantly degraded'
A series of explosions at the Russian operated Saky airfield, western Crimea, has led to the Russian Navy's Black Sea aviation fleet being 'significantly degraded,' according to a new UK MoD intelligence report.
The cause of the explosions, which occurred on 9 August, are said to be unclear, but 'mushroom clouds' captured by eyewitness videos are 'almost certainly' a result of up to four uncovered munition storage areas being detonated, added the MoD.
'The loss of eight combat jets represents a minor proportion of the overall fleet of aircraft Russia has available to support the war,' said the UK MoD. 'However, Saky was primarily used as a base for the aircraft of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet. The fleet's naval aviation capability is now significantly degraded.'
Such was the seriousness of the incident that the UK predicts Russia will move to 'revise its threat perception.'
London explained that Crimea 'has probably been seen as a secure rear-area' before the Saky explosions.
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