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Governor briefs Putin on Crimea fire situation — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

The situation in eastern Crimea will return to normal within a day, following what the authorities described as a fire at a military depot, the head of the peninsula Sergey Aksyonov told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. 

“We expect that as a result of the measures taken jointly with the federal [government] and municipal authorities, the situation will return to normal literally within a day,” Aksyonov said. He added that no one was injured in the fire and the resulting explosion, but some local residents had to be evacuated.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 217 people in temporary accommodations, including 55 children, according to the governor. Meanwhile, the fire at the military facility was “under control” and expected to be put out soon, said the head of the Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov.

A fire broke out at a military facility in eastern Crimea early on Wednesday morning, followed by a large explosion at a munitions depot. Local authorities closed the segment of the Tavrida highway running across the peninsula and issued evacuation orders to about 2,200 people in four nearby villages. 

Putin said that the causes of the fire at the training facility would have to be “dealt with,” and instructed the authorities to help the local residents as much as possible.

Media in Kiev initially claimed that the fire was the work of Ukrainian saboteurs, citing a message attributed to military intelligence chief Kirill Budanov. Within hours, however, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military intelligence disavowed the message and said its source could not be verified.

The fire follows a series of Ukrainian attacks against the Russian peninsula. On Tuesday, Russian air defenses intercepted 28 airborne drones targeting multiple locations across Crimea. A maritime drone struck the Crimean Bridge on Monday, damaging one span of road, killing two civilians, and orphaning a 14-year-old girl. Traffic on the bridge was partially restored by Tuesday evening. 

Crimeans organized a referendum in March 2014, shortly after the US-backed coup installed a government of Ukrainian nationalists in Kiev. The result showed overwhelming support for rejoining Russia, which Moscow accepted. 

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