Ukraine Launches Missile Attack on Occupied Crimea
On Saturday morning, Ukraine launched a missile attack on Sevastopol, a city in the occupied Crimean Peninsula, according to a Russian-installed official. This comes a day after an attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters resulted in a missing serviceman and significant damage to the main building.
Following the missile attack, Sevastopol was put on air raid alert for about an hour as debris from intercepted missiles fell near a pier. Ferry traffic in the area was temporarily halted but later resumed.
Reports indicate that loud blasts were also heard near Vilne in northern Crimea, accompanied by rising smoke. Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, has been frequently targeted by Ukrainian forces since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Ukraine’s intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, stated that at least nine people were killed and 16 others were wounded in Friday’s attack on the Black Sea Fleet. He expressed concern for Russian general Alexander Romanchuk, who was seriously injured in the attack. However, Budanov’s claims have not been independently verified, and he did not comment on whether Western-made missiles were used.
The Russian Defense Ministry initially reported one fatality in Friday’s strike but later stated that the serviceman was missing. Ukraine’s military provided additional details on the attack, stating that the air force launched 12 strikes on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, targeting areas with personnel, military equipment, and weapons. They reported hitting two anti-aircraft missile systems and four Russian artillery units.
Crimea has played a crucial role in supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Sevastopol serving as the main base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine has been increasingly targeting naval facilities in Crimea to degrade Russian morale and weaken its military, while their summer counteroffensive makes slow progress in other regions.
In separate incidents, Ukraine’s military reported that Russia launched 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones in the Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. They claim to have destroyed 14 of the drones. Additionally, Russia conducted 86 strikes on 27 settlements in the Zaporizhzhia region, resulting in civilian casualties.
In the neighboring Kherson region, one person was killed and three others were wounded due to Russian shelling. The city of Kherson, located along the Dneiper River, was targeted with 25 shells, damaging residential areas, medical and education institutions, government-built stations, critical infrastructure facilities, and a penitentiary.