Russia Says Ukrainian Missiles Hit Key Navy Base In Occupied Crimea

Russian state media said air defense systems shot down 10 missiles headed for Crimea, but that the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol was hit by French-made Storm Shadow missiles.

Friday, September 22nd 2023, 7:18 am

By: CBS News


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The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, the biggest city in Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimean Peninsula, said the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea fleet had been struck in a Ukrainian missile attack. He warned shortly afterward of possible further Ukrainian attacks, but that warning was later dropped. 

Russian state media said air defense systems shot down 10 missiles headed for Crimea, but that the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol was hit by French-made Storm Shadow missiles.

"Work continues to extinguish the fire at the fleet headquarters," Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said in a post on the Telegram messaging app. "According to preliminary information, the civilian infrastructure around the fleet headquarters was not damaged. The people who were on the street at the time of the impact were also not injured."

He said he had instructed "an operational headquarters" to be deployed at the scene, but that the situation was under control. There was no immediate confirmation of the extent of the damage to the Black Sea Fleet's offices, but the state-run TASS news agency said six people were injured in the strike. Video posted on social media shows smoke billowing from the fleet's headquarters.

Razvozhayev earlier warned residents via his Telegram account that "another attack is possible." He later dropped that warning, but urged residents to continue avoiding central Sevastopol.

The apparent missile strike came about 10 days after a Ukrainian attack on a strategic shipyard in Sevastopol damaged two Russian military ships that were undergoing repairs and caused a fire at the facility, according to Russian authorities. That attack came as Moscow launched drones at southern Ukraine's Odesa region.

Ukraine didn't immediately claim responsibility for the Friday attack on Sevastopol, which came a day after Ukrainian officials said a barrage of Russian missiles had struck a half dozen cities, killing at least two people and damaging electricity infrastructure in multiple regions.

The ongoing exchange of fire comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visits Washington to seek continued support for his country's effort to defend itself from Russia's invasion. Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress have questioned how, and how much more military and humanitarian aid to send to Ukraine as President Biden seeks an additional $24 billion in aid.

Ratification of Mr. Biden's request is deeply uncertain thanks to the growing partisan divide in Washington.

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