No further details of the strike were provided, and it was not immediately clear what type of missiles were used, but Ukraine’s air force commander issued a statement that appeared to mock Russian claims that all of the missiles were shot down by air defenses. . The report also mentions another strike this week on a Russian base in the occupied city of Melitopol.
“We promised there would be more,” Air Force Commander Mykola Oleschuk posted on social media. “So, when the invaders are recovering in Melitopol, and the air alarms are still sounding in Sevastopol, thank you once again to the pilots of the Air Force!”
“All missiles intercepted!” Oleschuk continued with clear sarcasm. “I hope the Russian air defense will not let us down again next time.”
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council, tweeted that Russian forces must destroy their ships before Ukrainian forces arrive.
“Otherwise, the Russian Black Sea Fleet will be sliced like a salami,” wrote Danilov.
US close to delivering long-range cluster missiles to Ukraine
While the Ukrainian claims could not be independently confirmed, a video posted on social media on Friday, verified by Storyful and confirmed by The Washington Post, showed smoke rising from the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet.
Damage to the building would represent a significant failure of Russia’s air defenses. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia maintained the Black Sea Fleet headquarters at Sevastopol under a lease agreement. Russian military personnel stationed there are believed to have participated in the 2014 invasion of Crimea.
The fleet and its headquarters are obvious high-profile targets for Ukraine, which has vowed to expel Russian invaders from all of its territory — including Crimea and parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which have been under Russian control for nearly a decade.
Poland threatens to stop sending arms to Ukraine in fight over grain
The attack follows several attacks in recent weeks in Crimea and specifically on the Black Sea fleet, including an apparent missile attack on a submarine and a landing craft in Sevastopol this month. Another attack reportedly damaged a Russian air defense system.
Crimea’s Kremlin-backed governor, Mikhail Rasvosayev, confirmed on social media that the missile had hit the Black Sea naval headquarters. He said firefighters were trying to put out the blaze in the building and that the shock wave from the blast had “broken glass in 10 residential buildings in the city centre”.
Russian news channels said six people were injured, but there was no official confirmation. Russia’s Defense Ministry initially said one person was killed, but later changed to “missing”.
Zelensky blasted Washington in a hasty attempt to shore up support
Photos on social media showed a large hole in the upper floors of the building and smoke billowing into the center of Sevastopol.
It appears that Ukraine’s long-range offensive capabilities will increase in the near future. The Biden administration is close to an announcement to deliver a version of the ATACMS missiles armed with cluster bombs — up to 190 miles away — to Kiev, according to people familiar with the ongoing deliberations.
Ukraine has requested hundreds of missiles that would allow its forces to strike Russian targets beyond the front lines.
On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his whirlwind trip to North America, visiting Canada, where he met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa and addressed parliament.
This week, he will address the UN General Assembly and the UN General Assembly in New York. He delivered emotional speeches to the Security Council, followed by meetings with President Biden at the White House in Washington, congressional leaders at the Capitol and military commanders at the Pentagon.
Closer to home, Kyiv’s search for markets for its agricultural products has led to tensions with its neighbors this week following the expiration of a deal with the European Union that limits Ukrainian imports.
Poland, Hungary and Slovakia said they would continue to enforce the embargo on Ukrainian grain to protect their own farmers. Ukrainian officials later said they were negotiating a compromise with their Slovak counterparts.
But the row with Poland erupted on Tuesday, when Zelenskiy, during his speech to the UN General Assembly, accused “some in Europe” of faking unity in an act of “political theatre”, creating a controversy that plays to Moscow’s advantage.
Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw on Wednesday in response to the comments; On Thursday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced that Warsaw would halt new arms exports to Kiev.
Polish President Andrzej Duda later tried to escalate the situation, saying that Poland could transfer weapons from old military reserves “just like we did before”.
However, Russia has made no effort to hide its delight over the split, which pits Kiev against one of its closest allies.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy said, “We foresee an increase in tensions between Warsaw and Kiev. Peskov told reporters on Friday.
Peskov added, “Friction between Kyiv and other European capitals will grow, it is inevitable.” Meanwhile, he said, using Moscow’s preferred term for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, “we continue our special military operation.”
On Friday, a local Ukrainian official said 16 people were wounded in a Russian attack on Kurakov, in the eastern Donetsk region.
Dmytro Lunin, head of the Poltava military administration, said Russian forces launched a missile attack on the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Friday.
“Unfortunately, civilian infrastructure was affected,” one person was killed and 15 injured, Lunin wrote on social media.
Natalia Appakumova and Anastasia Kalochka in Riga, Latvia contributed to this report.