Ukraine launched another attack on Sevastopol in Crimea

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine launched another missile attack on Sevastopol on the occupied Crimean peninsula Saturday morning, a day after the attack, a Russian establishment official said. Headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet It was missing an attendant and the main building was smoldering.

Sevastopol was put on air raid alert for about an hour after debris from intercepted missiles fell near a ship, Governor Mikhail Rasvozhayev wrote on the Telegram messaging app. He later said another missile fragment landed in a park in northern Sevastopol, parts of which had to be cordoned off. Boat traffic in the area was also stopped and later resumed.

Loud explosions were heard near Vilne in northern Crimea, followed by rising clouds of smoke, the pro-Ukraine Telegram news channel reported on developments on the peninsula. Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014 A frequent target From Russian President to Ukrainian forces Vladimir Putin Ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukraine’s intelligence chief, Kyrillo Budanov, told VOA on Saturday that at least nine people were killed and 16 wounded in Kiev’s attack on the Black Sea fleet. Alexander Romanchuk said the Russian General Command’s forces on the main southeastern front were in “very bad shape” following the offensive.

Budano’s claim could not be independently verified, and he did not comment on whether Western missiles were used in Friday’s attack. The Russian Defense Ministry initially said a service member was killed in the strike at the Black Sea naval headquarters, but later issued a statement saying he was missing.

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Ukraine’s military also provided more details about Friday’s attack. It said the air force carried out 12 strikes at the Black Sea Naval Headquarters, targeting areas where personnel, military equipment and weapons were concentrated. It said two anti-aircraft missile systems and four Russian artillery units were hit.

Crimea served as the main center of support Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Sevastopol, the main base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since the 19th century, has had a particular significance for naval operations since the beginning of the war.

Ukraine has increasingly targeted naval facilities in Crimea in recent weeks, while the impact of its summer counteroffensive has slowed gains in Ukraine’s east and south, according to the War Research Institute. Military experts say Ukraine’s continued attacks on targets in Crimea are necessary to undermine Russia’s morale and weaken its military.

In other developments, US President Joe Biden told a Ukrainian representative at a White House meeting on Thursday that the US would supply Ukraine with a version of the long-range ATACMS ballistic missiles, without specifying how many or when. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly before an official announcement.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian leaders have long pushed the United States and other Western allies to provide long-range weapons that would help Kiev step up its attacks behind Russian lines when out of firing range.

The U.S. has so far blocked Kiev from using the weapons to strike deeper into Russian territory and escalate the conflict. The military’s tactical missile system, known as ATACMS, could give Ukraine the ability to strike Russian targets from a range of about 180 miles (300 kilometers), but the US also has other types of shorter-range missiles.

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Elsewhere, Ukraine’s military said on Saturday that Russia launched 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones over the front-line Zaporizhzhia region in the southeast and Dnipropetrovsk province in the north. It claimed to have destroyed 14 drones.

Separately, Zaporizhzhia regional governor Yuri Malashko said earlier in the day that Russia had carried out 86 strikes in 27 settlements in the province, many of which were just a few kilometers (miles) from the fighting. An 82-year-old civilian was killed in the artillery attack, Malashko said.

In neighboring Kherson region, Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said a 65-year-old woman was killed Saturday when a Russian shell hit her yard, while a 78-year-old man was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after being hit by a Russian drone. Bombs were thrown.

Earlier in a separate statement, Prokhudin said Russian shelling had killed at least one person and wounded three others earlier in the day. Russia fired 25 bombs at the city of Kherson, located across the Dnieper River, which marks the contact line between the warring sides, Prokhudin said.

He added that medical and educational institutions, government-built stations serving food and beverages, as well as critical infrastructural facilities and prisons, were also affected.

Russian shelling killed one civilian and wounded another on Friday night in the eastern Donetsk region, as heavy fighting continued in the suburb of Bakmut, local governor Ihor Moroz said on Saturday.

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AP diplomatic writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report from Washington.

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For more information on the war in Ukraine, visit: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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