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Ukrainian military strikes Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 22, 2023 1:42 PM 3 min read
The aftermath of a reported Ukrainian strike on Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Sept. 22, 2023. (Emergency Sevastopol/Telegram)
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The Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sept. 22 that a Ukrainian missile strike on Sevastopol in Russian-occupied Crimea damaged the building of Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters.

According to the ministry, one Russian serviceman went missing following the strike. Russian air defenses shot down five missiles over Sevastopol, it added.

Several hours later, the Ukrainian military's Strategic Communications Directorate confirmed the missile strike without providing further details.

Ukraine's Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk published a video showing the aftermath of the missile strike, thanking Ukrainian pilots.

"Sevastopol is the city of the Naval Forces of Ukraine's Armed Forces! Together - to victory!", Oleshchuk said on Telegram.

Increased attacks on Crimea disrupt Russian logistics, attempt to derail its southern defenses
Since mid-July, drones and missiles have regularly targeted Russian military depots and infrastructure in occupied Crimea. Russian proxies reported that the Chonhar Bridge, serving as Russia’s fastest rail route from occupied Crimea to the southern front line, was allegedly hit multiple times on Au…

Mikhail Razvozhaev, the head of Sevastopol's illegal Russian occupation government, first reported the missile strike on the fleet headquarters. Razvozhaev claimed that, as a result of the air defense work, missile debris allegedly fell near a local theater that lies next to Sevastopol Bay.

Later, Razvozhaev said that civilian infrastructure was not damaged and there were no casualties among civilians. First responders are still trying to extinguish the fire at the fleet headquarters, he added.

Several explosions were heard in the port city of Sevastopol at around 1 p.m. Kyiv time, Ukrainian media outlet Suspilne Crimea reported, citing residents.

Earlier the same day, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces shot down a Ukrainian guided missile and two drones over Crimea’s west coast at about 10:30 a.m. Moscow time.

The Kyiv Independent couldn’t verify any of those claims.

During the first attack, Russian forces deployed a smoke screen over Sevastopol Bay, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, local Telegram channels reported. Sevastopol is located on the peninsula's southern shore.

Uncertain Triumph: Ukraine picks apart Russia’s best air defenses in Crimea
The past month has not been kind to Russia’s forces in occupied Crimea. In a span of weeks, a ship, a submarine, and multiple air defense systems were destroyed. Ukraine said these targets included Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile systems, optimistically named the Triumph. Purported videos of…

According to local channels, Russian occupation authorities also temporarily suspended the sea transport movement and blocked the traffic on the Crimean Bridge.

In recent days, Russia and Ukraine have experienced intensified attacks deep behind the front line, the U.K. Defense Ministry wrote in its latest intelligence update.

Russia resumed its attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, launching a massive missile strike overnight on Sept. 21, killing and injuring civilians.

Meanwhile, explosions were reported at Russian logistics sites, air bases, and command posts in occupied Crimea, Russia's Krasnodar region, and near Moscow.

Sources in Ukraine's Security Service told Ukrainian state news agency Ukrinform that Ukraine launched an overnight attack on the Saky Air Base in Crimea on Sept. 21, seriously damaging Russian equipment.

“With the ground battle relatively static, each side is seeking advantage by striking through their adversary’s strategic depth,” reads the British intelligence update.

Oleg Sukhov: The West lacks political will to ensure Ukraine’s victory
As President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a long-awaited trip to the U.S., the White House is set to announce a new $325 million military aid package. According to reports, it will again be missing the much-desired ATACMS long-range missiles, which Kyiv says may turn the tide of Russia’s ongoing

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