Crimea’s health department said five people, including a child, were injured in the blasts, according to Russian news agency Tass.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a tongue-in-cheek statement that it “could not establish the cause of the fire but once again wishes to recall fire safety and the danger of smoking in inappropriate places.”
But in thinly veiled confirmation of Ukrainian involvement, Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, said: “The future of the Crimean peninsula is to become a pearl of the Black Sea, a national park with unique landscapes and a global resort, not a military base for terrorists. This is just the beginning.
Meanwhile, Phillips P O’Brien, professor of strategic studies at St Andrew’s University, said the Ukrainians’ actions were “extremely important”.
“By showing that they can hit Crimea, they will further expand Russia’s defensive capabilities. The Russians are going to have to protect a huge area behind the front lines,” he said.
Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London, added: “Nobody prepared the Russian people for setbacks like this.”