The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense said late on Monday that The blow destroyed Russian Kalibr cruise missiles are transported by train in the town of Dzhankoy in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Ukrainian authorities did not claim direct responsibility for the strike, but said they were working to further “demilitarize Russia and prepare Crimea for an end to the occupation”.
Sergey Askyonov, the head of the peninsula that was installed in Russia, confirmed that a strike had taken place and the air defense system in the area had been activated. Askyonov said that one person was injured and two buildings were damaged.
Amateur video geotagged by CNN shows a large explosion and the resulting fireball. Someone is heard to say off camera that the strike hit the train station. However, the video did not clearly show what was struck and CNN was unable to confirm the exact location of the strike.
The British Ministry of Defense said in 2022 that two of the most important Russian military airfields in Crimea are located in Dzankoye and Gvardiskoye.
“Djankoy is also a major road and rail junction that plays an important role in supplying Russian operations in southern Ukraine,” she added.
Crimea also hosts an important port and a major naval base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the city of Sevastopol. Some of Russia’s most important warships, including surface ships, have docked there armed with cruise missiles.
The United States has previously accused Russia of using cruise missiles launched from ships in the Black Sea to hit civilian targets in Ukraine.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2021, Ukraine has launched multiple strikes against Russian positions in Crimea and operations its military said destroyed Russian Kalibr missiles.
Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have repeatedly vowed to liberate the peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. Zelensky had previously confirmed For Ukrainians, Crimea is “not just a particular region” but “a part of our people and society”.
The strike comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of its annexation. The visit, which also included a stop in Russian-occupied Mariupol, comes just days after the International Criminal Court charged the Russian president with war crimes in Ukraine and issued a warrant for his arrest over an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
The charges against the ICC are the first formally brought against officials in Moscow since it launched its unprovoked assault on Ukraine last year. The Kremlin called the ICC’s actions “outrageous and unacceptable”.
The strike comes as Putin hosts Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Moscow Kremlin. during Monday meetingXi told Putin that China and Russia have “similar goals” and expressed support for Putin’s re-election. The war in Ukraine was brought up in the early hours of their meeting and is expected to be a major point of discussion throughout Xi’s three-day visit.
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