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Satellite images of Russian Belbek airfield in Crimea after missile strike appear online

Friday, 17 May 2024, 00:22
Satellite images of Russian Belbek airfield in Crimea after missile strike appear online
Belbek airfield. Screenshot: video by Radio Liberty

Planet.com satellite imagery taken over the Belbek airfield in Crimea on 16 May shows an area where Su-27, Su-30 and MiG-31 fighter jets were parked. Maxar's images show that two MiG-31s and one Su-27 were completely destroyed.

Source: Radio Liberty Russian Service, The New York Times investigator Christiaan Triebert on X (Twitter)

Details: The extent of the damage and the number of damaged aircraft are difficult to determine, as only the image from 1 May is available for comparison. 

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Ukrainian sources have unofficially reported that Russia lost three aircraft. 

The imagery also shows that the airfield's fuel and lubricants storage facility completely burned down.

Update: The New York Times investigator Christiaan Triebert has posted high-quality images of the aftermath of the attack on the Belbek airfield in occupied Crimea.

 
Belbek airfield.
Photo: Christiaan Triebert

These images by Maxar show the remains of the aircraft in detail.

 
Belbek airfield.
Photo: Christiaan Triebert

Triebert suggested that two MiG-31s and one Su-27 were completely destroyed, and one MiG-29 was damaged. 

 
Belbek airfield.
Photo: Christiaan Triebert

Damage to fuel and lubricant tanks has also been confirmed.

 
Belbek airfield.
Photo: Christiaan Triebert

Background:

  • Local authorities in the temporarily occupied city of Sevastopol reported explosions and a response by air defence systems late in the evening on 15 May
  • On the night of 15-16 May, the Russian Ministry of Defence claimed that their air defence systems had shot down "five ATACMS tactical missiles" over the territory of occupied Crimea.
  • The Astra channel, citing two of its sources, reported a fire at the airfield, while the Krymskiy Veter (Crimean Wind) channel claimed that the airfield's fuel depot had been hit. 
  • The Russian-controlled authorities in Crimea claimed that the attack had been repelled.
  • An air-raid warning was issued in temporarily occupied Crimea on the night of 14-15 May. Traffic on the Crimean Bridge was suspended for a while, air defences were responding to an attack and explosions were heard.

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