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Ukraine strikes Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in occupied Crimea

A major fire started at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in occupied Sevastopol while the Russian Ministry of Defense unusually quickly recognized at least one serviceman “missing.” Ukrainian strikes on the city of Sevastopol have become regular since the summer of 2023.
Russian black sea fleet HQ in occupied Crimea
Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in occupied Sevastopol after a missile strike. Photo: telegram Крым реалии
Ukraine strikes Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in occupied Crimea

Russia-installed authorities reported a missile attack on Sevastopol at around 1:00 PM on September 22. They claimed air defenses shot down five missiles, but the building of the Russian Black Sea fleet HQ in the city center was “damaged.” Video on social media shows extensive destruction and fire.

Eyewitnesses also reported numerous ambulances rushing to the scene.

Ukraine has already claimed responsibility for the HQ attack. The Ukrainian military says it “successfully” hit the naval base in Sevastopol, but gave no further details. Earlier Ukraine’s Air Force commander, General Mykola Oleshchuk, hinted at involvement in the HQ attack.

“We told you there’d be more… while the occupiers are coming to their senses in Melitopol and air raid sirens are sounding in Sevastopol, let me thank Air Force pilots again!” Oleshchuk wrote on social media.

Ukraine struck Sevastopol with either British Storm Shadow or Ukrainian-developed R-360 Neptune missiles, BBC suggested. Storm Shadow missiles are equipped with either a blast or a penetrating warhead. Reports of a large hole in the HQ building point towards this.

On the other hand, in April 2022 the Neptune missile was used to sink the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva. More recently, the Neptune missile destroyed one of Russia’s most advanced surface-to-air missile systems – the S-400 – in Crimea.

Since August, missile strikes have become routine for occupied Crimea. Last week, a Russian military base was hit, and a submarine and warship destroyed.

Ukraine considers the Russian Black Sea Fleet one of its prime targets for practical and psychological reasons. Russia launched missiles from its ships in the Black Sea at Ukraine, causing much damage. Additionally, it has threatened to block Ukrainian grain export routes through the Black Sea. The Black Sea fleet is also a major symbol of Russia’s power.

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