VALENTYNA ROMANENKO – THURSDAY, 11 AUGUST 2022, 17:34
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine emphasises that they do not officially confirm the involvement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the explosions at the Saky airfield in occupied Crimea.
Source: Hanna Maliar, Deputy Defence Minister, during the briefing on 11 August, answering journalists' questions.
Quote: "I am addressing all readers, viewers... If you are following any form of mass media... the most authoritative… you see that some unknown employee of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine without a surname, without a name (quoted – ed.), I recommend you do not believe this information, because I confirm that the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine did not have such conversations, because we use information from the General Staff.
There is no official confirmation or statement about the involvement of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in this."
Details: This is how Maliar commented on the The New York Times article in which, with reference to a "senior Ukrainian military official", it was said that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the explosions at the airfield in occupied Crimea.
With regard to another statement – Dmytro Marchenko, Major General of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in an interview with RBC Ukraine stated that Ukraine plans to liberate Kherson and to end the active phase of the war by the end of the year – the Deputy Minister said that the military should not talk about the plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and journalists should not ask them about it.
Quote: "I emphasise that there is criminal responsibility for information disclosed by the military... and by the way, bloggers and journalists do this... Regarding the plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, regarding some information that became known to them from the front line...
Once again, I appeal to everyone that you should not ask questions about the operational plans of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is information with limited access and no-one will respond to you publicly. Everything that can be said has already been said."
On 9 August, explosions occurred at the military airbase near Novofedorivka, in the Saky district of Russian-occupied Crimea.
The Russian Defence Ministry claimed that the fire at the Saky airbase was caused by the detonation of several rounds of aircraft ammunition. Later, a Russian defence department source told the Russian state-owned news outlet TASS that there had been a violation of fire safety requirements at the Saky airbase.
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine stated that it could not determine the cause of the fire in Novofedorivka. However, they reiterated the importance of safety rules and the fact that smoking is prohibited in unauthorised locations.
At the same time, the report of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the losses of the Russian army the next day stated that Russia had lost 9 aircraft.
Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine did not comment on the incident to Ukrainska Pravda; other sources in government circles did not provide unambiguous information about the causes of the explosions at the airfield in Crimea.