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Ukraine Launches Missile Attack on Occupied Crimea
On Saturday morning, Ukraine launched a missile attack on Sevastopol in the occupied Crimea region, according to a Russian-installed official. This follows a previous attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters, which left a serviceman missing and significant damage to the main building.
Attack on Sevastopol
Sevastopol was put under an air raid alert for about an hour after intercepted missile debris fell near a pier. Ferry traffic in the area was temporarily halted but later resumed. Loud blasts were also heard near Vilne in northern Crimea, resulting in rising clouds of smoke.
Casualties and Damage
Ukraine’s intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, claimed that at least nine people were killed and 16 others wounded in Friday’s attack on the Black Sea Fleet. He further stated that Russian General Alexander Romanchuk, who commands forces along the southeastern front line, was in a critical condition. Independent verification of Budanov’s claim is unavailable, and there was no mention of the missiles used in Friday’s strike.
The Russian Defense Ministry initially reported one service member killed in Friday’s strike but later announced the serviceman as missing. Ukraine’s military provided more details, stating that they conducted 12 strikes on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, specifically targeting areas with personnel, military equipment, and weapons. Two anti-aircraft missile systems and four Russian artillery units were reportedly hit.
Significance of Crimea
Crimea has played a pivotal role in supporting Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Sevastopol, as the main base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet since the 19th century, holds particular importance for navy operations throughout the conflict.
Continued Attacks on Crimea
Ukraine has intensified its targeting of naval facilities in Crimea in recent weeks, while simultaneously launching a summer counteroffensive in the east and south of Ukraine. Military experts argue that attacking Crimea is crucial for Ukraine to degrade Russian morale and weaken its military.
Russian Drone Attacks and Shelling
Separately, Ukraine’s military reported that Russia launched 15 Iranian-made Shahed drones in the Zaporizhzhia region in the southeast, as well as Dnipropetrovsk province farther north. They claimed to have destroyed 14 of the drones.
In the Zaporizhzhia region, Russia conducted 86 strikes on 27 settlements, resulting in the death of an 82-year-old civilian due to artillery fire. In the neighboring Kherson region, one person died and three others were injured due to Russian shelling. The city of Kherson was targeted with 25 shells, affecting residential areas, medical and education institutions, government-built stations, critical infrastructure facilities, and a penitentiary.