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Crimea Blast Puts Putin’s Prestige on the Line

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea in Moscow on March 18.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at a concert marking the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea in Moscow on March 18.

Photographer: Ramil Sitdikov/AFP/Getty Images

Massive explosions at a Russian military airfield in Crimea were greeted with jubilation in Ukraine and consternation in Moscow.

Russian authorities quickly denied rumors of a Ukrainian missile strike, blaming the destruction on munitions detonating at the base. While Ukrainian officials didn’t directly claim responsibility, a top aide to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called yesterday’s blast “just the beginning.”