Ukraine’s military intelligence denies its chief issued remarks on Crimea blast

Ukraine’s military intelligence denies its chief issued remarks on Crimea blast

Comments attributed to Kyrylo Budanov are 'fake,' says spokesman

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Ukraine’s military intelligence on Wednesday refuted reports claiming that its head, Kyrylo Budanov, confirmed Ukrainian forces’ involvement in a fire and explosion at a military depot in Crimea.

Several Ukrainian media outlets commented on a Telegram post on the incident alleging that Budanov took responsibility on behalf of Ukrainian forces for the attack. Military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov called the comments “fake” news.

“A comment allegedly on behalf of Kyrylo Budanov that the explosion at the training ground in Crimea was the work of the AFU (Armed Forces of Ukraine) and GUR (Main Intelligence Directorate) is fake. All our official pages are on the website of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine,” he told Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspilne.

Several Ukrainian media outlets published official refutations and apologized to their readers for spreading false information.

Crimean Governor Sergey Aksyonov said a fire broke out Tuesday night at a military training ground east of the Crimean Peninsula, which has been under Russia’s control since 2014.

He said the fire did not cause casualties, but the main road – the Tavrida Highway – was closed to traffic, and over 2,200 people from four settlements were evacuated.

The Tavrida Highway connects the entire Crimean Peninsula and is a major traffic artery.

According to Russian officials, the incident occurred a day after two people were killed and a child was severely injured in a blast early Monday at the Kerch Bridge, which connects Russia to the Crimean Peninsula.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of being behind the attack, while Ukrainian authorities neither confirmed nor denied Russia’s claims.

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