Planet Labs BBC/Handout/Reuters
A satellite image shows smoke rising from the Russian Navy’s headquarters in the Black Sea after a missile strike in Sevastopol, Crimea, on September 22.
Ukraine She said on Saturday that the bold strike targeting the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the city of Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula left dozens dead and wounded, “including the senior leadership.”
the attacks Friday was perhaps the most dramatic example yet of the confidence with which Ukraine is pursuing Russian facilities in occupied Crimea – and shows just how vulnerable critical infrastructure on the peninsula is.
In a statement on the Telegram app, Ukrainian special operations forces said that a special operation dubbed “Cancer Trap” was timed to attack while senior members of the Russian Navy were meeting, and that the attack left dozens dead and wounded “including the fleet’s high command.” No names were revealed and CNN has not independently verified this claim.
Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014. Ukraine has not given up hope of regaining it.
“The daring and painstaking work of the special operations forces enabled them to strike the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet ‘on time and accurately’ while the senior staff of the Russian Navy was meeting in the temporarily occupied city of Sevastopol,” she said in the statement.
“The data was transferred to the Air Force to direct the strike. Details of the attack will be revealed as soon as possible. The result is dozens of dead and wounded among the occupiers, including the Supreme Command of the Fleet.”
She added: “We’re moving more!”
The attacks have strategic and symbolic importance
Ukraine has not yet provided further details or any evidence regarding specific losses among the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
The Russian Defense Ministry has so far only announced that a Russian soldier is missing after Friday’s missile attack, which local authorities said left the naval headquarters destroyed and debris scattered hundreds of meters away.
This incident is the latest in a series of attacks targeting Russian facilities in the Crimean Peninsula.
The Ukrainians struck a Russian military airfield at Saki, destroyed Russian air defenses on the northwest coast, 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 caused unspecified “serious damage” at the airport, according to sources in the Security Services of Ukraine (SBU).
Following Friday’s attack, 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.
There are many reasons for Ukraine to target Crimea. It is a political sign that despite slow progress on the front lines in its counteroffensive, 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 strike Russian logistics, fuel, maintenance and command centres, in order to disrupt their ability to supply the front lines.
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