A “loud sound, similar to a muffled artillery shot or an explosion,” was heard in Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea early on the morning of Feb. 17, according to Krym Realii media outlet.
Photo Insert: Since August, explosions have been heard regularly in occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.
Mikhail Razvozhaev, the head of the occupying administration, said that Russian air defense had shot down a drone over the Balaklava Thermal Power Plant.
A local Telegram channel also reported the sound of an explosion in Balaklava, a satellite town of Sevastopol. Balaklava is home to the so-called "Object 825," which once was a Soviet underwater base for submarines.
In late October, Ukraine's Armed Forces reported that Russian occupying authorities in Crimea had started rebuilding the base to hide Kalibr submarines from Ukrainian anti-ship missiles in it, Kyiv Independent also reported on Feb. 18, 2023.
Yurii Ihnat, Ukraine’s Air Force spokesman, said on national TV that he was not authorized to comment on the Feb. 17 explosion but hinted that such incidents could continue.
“It is obvious that ‘bavovna’ will be happening, probably not only in Crimea,” Ihnat said. The Ukrainian word bavovna (cotton) is used to refer to the explosions caused by Ukraine’s attacks on Russian military infrastructure, such as ammunition depots.
Several explosions were also reported on Feb. 16, followed by Razvozhaev’s claim of Ukrainian drone attacks. Since August, explosions have been heard regularly in occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.