Unexplained blasts hit 2 Russian military bases

Explosions rocked two air bases in Russia on Monday, Russian media reported. One of the explosions reportedly occurred at a base that houses nuclear-capable strategic bombers involved in launching strikes against Ukraine.

Neither Ukrainian nor Russian authorities immediately commented on the possible cause of the blasts.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said that three Russian servicemen were killed and six others injured and that a plane was damaged early Monday when a fuel truck exploded at an air base in Ryazan, in western Russia. The base houses long-range flight tankers that serve to refuel bombers in the air.

Separately, authorities in the Saratov region along the Volga River said they were checking reports of an explosion in the area of ​​the Engels air base, which houses Tu-95 and Tu-160 strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine. Those bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Saratov regional Gov. Roman Busargin said there was no damage to civilian facilities and added that the authorities were checking whether there have been any incidents at military facilities.

Regional media reported sounds of a powerful explosion near the Engels base, and some residents were quoted as saying they saw a flash of light coming from the area.

Asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had been briefed about the Engels base explosion, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said only that the president was being regularly informed of ongoing developments.

In Ukraine on Monday, the office of President Volodymyr Zelensky said three rocket strikes hit his hometown of Kryvyi Rih in south-central Ukraine, killing a factory worker and injuring three others. In the northeastern region of Kharkiv, a person was killed in strikes by S-300 missiles on civilian infrastructure in the town of Kupyansk, it said.

Also Monday, Western countries began imposing a $60-per-barrel price cap and a ban on some types of Russian oil, part of new measures aimed at stepping up pressure against Moscow over the war.

The move has prompted a rebuff from the Kremlin and also criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose government wants the cap to be lower by half.

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