Ukraine on Saturday claimed that its missile strike on Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in the annexed Crimean region has left dozens of people dead and injured, including the 'senior leadership' of the fleet. The strike was aimed towards senior members of the Russian Navy, CNN reported.
Kyiv's claims come a day after Ukraine struck the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in a missile attack in the Crimean city of Sevastopol that sent a Russian serviceman missing, which Russia's Defense Ministry earlier claimed was killed in the strike. Sevastopol has served as an important base for navy operations in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine's Special Operations Forces said in a statement posted on Telegram that the strike was part of a special operation "Crab Trap" that was aimed to strike when senior Russian Navy officials met in Sevastopol. It said that the headquarters were struck "on time and with precision".
“The data was transmitted to the Air Force for strike. The details of the attack will be revealed once it is possible. The result is dozens of dead and wounded occupiers, including the senior leadership of the fleet,” read the statement.
Fighting between Russia and Ukraine escalates
The latest strike was one of many attacks Ukraine has launched towards Russia, particularly in Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. Ukraine has so far struck a Russian military airfield at Saky, damaged Moscow's air defenses on the north-west coast, and carried out a missile attack on the main dry-dock and ship-repair facility in Sevastopol.
Ukraine is looking to target Russian logistics, fuel, maintenance and command centers to disrupt their supplies in several occupied regions despite a slow start to their counteroffensive against Kremlin's forces.
The attack comes a day after Russia attacked Ukraine with a barrage of missile and artillery strikes while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden in Washington where a $24 billion package has been granted to Kyiv. At least five people were killed in the Russian strike.
Previous attacks resulted in several civilian deaths, but Russian officials haven’t yet reported any military personnel killed. Six people were reported wounded following a July 2022 attack on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, but it wasn’t clear whether they were civilians or servicemembers.
(with agencies input)