Ukraine hits headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol

KYIV — Ukrainian forces on Friday fired a barrage of missiles on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, in occupied Crimea — placing a goal considered closely protected and demonstrating Kyiv’s rising potential to assault Russian navy infrastructure all through the peninsula.

The communications middle for Ukraine’s armed forces posted an announcement saying that “around 12:00, the Ukrainian defense forces successfully struck the command headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in temporarily-occupied Sevastopol,” situated on the southwest tip of Crimea, which Russia invaded and illegally annexed in 2014.

No additional particulars of the strike got, and it was not instantly clear what sort of missiles had been used, however the commander of Ukraine’s air pressure issued an announcement that appeared to mock Russian claims that every one of the missiles had been shot down by air defenses. The assertion additionally referenced one other strike this week on a Russian base in the occupied metropolis of Melitopol.

“We promised that ‘there will be more,’” Mykola Oleschuk, the air pressure commander, posted on social media. “So, while the occupiers are recovering in Melitopol, and air alarms are still sounding in Sevastopol, I thank the pilots of the Air Force once again!”

“All missiles were intercepted!” Oleschuk continued, with evident sarcasm. “I hope that next time Russian air defense will again not let us down.”

Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, tweeted that Russian forces ought to destroy their ships earlier than Ukrainian forces arrive.

“Otherwise, the Russian Black Sea Fleet will be sliced up like a salami,” Danilov wrote.

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While the Ukrainian claims couldn’t be independently corroborated, video posted to social media on Friday, verified by Storyful and confirmed by The Washington Post, confirmed smoke rising from the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet.

Damage to the constructing would point out a exceptional failure by Russia’s air defenses. Russia had maintained the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol beneath a lease settlement because the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russian navy personnel stationed there are believed to have participated in the invasion of Crimea in 2014.

The fleet and its headquarters are apparent high-profile targets for Ukraine, which has pledged to oust the Russian occupiers from all of its territory — together with Crimea and areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk areas which were beneath Russia’s management for practically a decade.

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The assault follows a quantity of assaults in Crimea and particularly on the Black Sea Fleet in latest weeks, together with an obvious missile strike on a submarine and touchdown vessel in Sevastopol this month. Another assault reportedly broken a Russian air protection system.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Kremlin-installed governor of Crimea, confirmed on social media {that a} missile struck the Black Sea Fleet headquarters. He mentioned that firefighters had been attempting to place out a hearth in the constructing and that the shock wave from the blast “broke glass in 10 residential buildings in the city center.”

Russian information channels reported that six individuals had been injured, however there was no official affirmation. Russia’s Defense Ministry initially mentioned one particular person was killed, which it later modified to “missing.”

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Photos on social media confirmed the constructing with a big gap in its higher tales and smoke rising over the middle of Sevastopol.

Ukraine’s long-range offensive capabilities seem set to extend in the close to future. The Biden administration is near an announcement on offering Kyiv with a model of ATACMS missiles armed with cluster bomblets — with a variety of as much as 190 miles — based on a number of individuals accustomed to the continued deliberations.

Ukraine has requested a whole bunch of the missiles, which might permit its forces to strike Russian targets far past the entrance traces.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his whirlwind journey to North America, visiting Canada, the place he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and addressed the parliament.

This week, he delivered impassioned speeches to the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Security Council in New York, adopted by conferences in Washington on the White House with President Biden, congressional leaders on the Capitol and navy commanders on the Pentagon.

Closer to house, Kyiv’s seek for markets for its agricultural merchandise led to tensions with its neighbors this week, following the expiration of an settlement with the European Union limiting Ukrainian imports.

Poland, Hungary and Slovakia mentioned they’d proceed to implement the ban on Ukrainian grain to guard their very own farmers. Ukrainian officers later mentioned they had been in talks with their Slovakian counterparts to succeed in a compromise.

But the dispute with Poland exploded Tuesday when Zelensky, throughout his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, accused “some in Europe” of feigning solidarity in an act of “political theater,” making a dispute that may play to Moscow’s benefit.

Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw on Wednesday in response to the feedback; on Thursday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki introduced Warsaw was halting new weapons shipments to Kyiv.

Polish President Andrzej Duda later tried to de-escalate the scenario, saying Poland might switch weapons from previous military shares “just as we have done before.”

Still, Russia made no effort to hide its delight over the rift, which pits Kyiv towards one of its closest allies.

“We predict that the tension between Warsaw and Kiev will increase,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters Friday.

Peskov added that “friction will also grow between Kyiv and other European capitals, it is inevitable.” In the meantime, he mentioned, “we are continuing our special military operation,” utilizing Moscow’s most popular time period for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, 16 individuals had been injured in a Russian assault on Kurakhove, in the japanese Donetsk area, based on a neighborhood Ukrainian official.

Dmytro Lunin, head of the Poltava navy administration, mentioned Russian forces launched a missile assault on the central Ukrainian metropolis of Kremenchuk on Friday.

“Unfortunately, there was a hit on civilian infrastructure,” killing one particular person and injuring 15, Lunin wrote on social media.

Natalia Abbakumova in Riga, Latvia, and Anastacia Galouchka contributed to this report.

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