Several explosions were reported in the northern part of Russian-annexed Crimea early on August 16. A fire broke out at a transformer substation in the town of Dzhankoy and in the village of Maiske. Russian media reported that explosions were heard at a military air base in the village of Hvardiiske. Ukraine’s military claims that it has destroyed the headquarters of Russia’s Wagner Group in Popasna, Luhansk. Ukraine claims that ‘Putin’s chef’ Yevgeny Prigozhin was at the military base at the time. Ukraine’s Air Force Command said that Russia is building up military capacity in the Belarusian territory. Putin has accused the US of trying to prolong the conflict in Ukraine and raising tensions along the Taiwan Strait. Putin accused Washington once again of trying to draw out the conflict while using Ukrainian civilians as cannon fodder. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has said Russia does not need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Finland’s foreign minister Pekka Haavisto has said the country will issue fewer visas to Russians .