Ukraine Launched a missile attack on the Russian command headquarters Black Sea Fleet on Friday, the latest and perhaps one of the most ambitious attacks launched by Kiev recently on Russian military targets in Crimea.
“The enemy launched a missile attack on the fleet headquarters,” Sevastopol’s Russian-appointed governor, Mikhail Razvozaev, said on the Telegram app.
Over the past month, Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Russian military bases and other facilities, including air defenses, in Crimea.
Sevastopol, home to the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, is one of the largest cities in Crimea and was illegally annexed by Moscow forces in 2014.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that a Russian soldier was missing after the missile attack. The Ministry had previously issued a statement stating that the soldier was killed as a result of the attack. They explained in an updated statement that the soldier is missing and was not killed.
Watch this interactive content on CNN.com
The Ministry of Defense posted on Telegram: “This afternoon, the Kiev regime launched a missile strike on the city of Sevastopol.”
He added: “While repelling a missile attack, air defense systems shot down five missiles. As a result of the attack, the historic headquarters building of the Black Sea Fleet was damaged. According to available information, a soldier was killed.”
Russia’s official TASS agency reported that debris was “scattered hundreds of meters” after the missile attack. TASS added that a large number of ambulances were on their way to the site of the attack.
Razvozhayev also said that a piece of shrapnel fell near the Lunacharsky Theater.
The Russian-appointed governor said that operational services had gone to the site of the attack, and that information about casualties was being clarified.
In an update issued later Friday, Razvozhayev said there was no longer a “missile or aviation threat” after the incident, and said no one was hurt.
Razvozaev stated that the attack led to the shattering of the windows of 10 residential buildings in the city. He added that gas and electricity supplies were cut off, and water supplies decreased, due to the fires in the area.
The Strategic Communications Department of the Ukrainian Armed Forces confirmed on Friday that the country had “directed a successful strike” on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol at noon local time.
A Ukrainian military spokesman commented on the situation in the Black Sea, saying it remained “tense” and that Ukraine still had a “long way to go” to “destroy all enemy capabilities” in Crimea.
Natalia Hominiuk, a spokeswoman for the security and defense forces in southern Ukraine, said Russia “realizes that the situation is no longer safe for them in the Black Sea and in their bases.” In a video speech, Homeniuk also said the “season of explosions” will continue.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov warned that Russia’s Black Sea Fleet could be “sliced up like salami” in possible future strikes on Russian military infrastructure.
Video footage shows smoke rising from the top of a building, allegedly the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet, following the attack in Sevastopol.
Friday’s attack shows the vulnerability of critical infrastructure on the peninsula.
Over the past month, Ukraine has intensified its attacks on Russian military bases and other facilities, including air defenses, in Crimea. The latest attack came at a time when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his tour in North America. Later Friday, he is scheduled to deliver a speech before the Canadian Parliament.
On Wednesday, Ukrainian Defense Intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told Ukrainian TV that “Crimea is still being used as a logistical center, among other things, for transferring enemy forces and means to other parts of the front,” and stated that “and in order to destroy this center.” Logistics, certain operations are used and carried out: at sea, on land, and in the air.
Friday’s attack shows the vulnerability of critical infrastructure on the peninsula. In short order, the Ukrainians struck a Russian military airfield at Saki, destroyed Russian air defenses on the northwest coast (including destroying the S-400 complex), and carried out a missile attack on the main dry dock and ship. – Repair facility in Sevastopol, crippling an attack submarine and a landing ship.
The attack on Psaki on Thursday caused unspecified “serious damage” to the airport, according to State Security sources.
There are many reasons for Ukraine to target Crimea. It is a political sign that despite slow progress on the front lines, Ukraine can still inflict serious damage on the Russian military. Objectives such as the Crimean Bridge have great symbolic value as well as a strategic purpose.
It is also part of a broader effort – in Crimea, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk – to hit Russian logistics, fuel, maintenance and command centers – to disrupt their ability to supply the front lines.
“Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver.”