Explosions and fire reported at Russian military airfield in occupied Crimea

Satellite image of helicopters at Dzhankoy airfield (Credit: Government of Ukraine)

Russian-affiliated Telegram channels have reported explosions followed by a large-scale fire in the town of Dzhankoy in occupied Crimea in the early hours of April 17, 2024. The incident occurred near a military airfield. 

Satellite imagery from NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System, FIRMS 

Russian authorities currently occupying the area have closed a road connecting Dzhankoy with the village of Pobiedne. This road passes alongside the military airfield. It is still unclear to what extent the reported explosions affected the base. 

The Dzhankoy airfield houses the 39th Helicopter Regiment of the Russian Air Force 27th Mixed Aviation Division. This regiment operates various Russian helicopters, including the Ka-52 Alligator, Mi-8, Mi-28N, and Mi-35M. 

In a note published on August 17, 2022, the British Defence Intelligence defined Dzhankoy as “a key road and rail junction that plays an important role in supplying Russia’s operations in southern Ukraine”. 

Reports from the Oryx website, which documents visually confirmed losses, claimed the loss of at least 136 Russian helicopters since the onset of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. 

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