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What we know so far about Ukraine’s attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters
At least nine people were killed and 16 were injured as a result of a missile attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol in annexed Crimea on September 22, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told the Voice of America. This information has not been confirmed. Budanov stressed that the data presented did not take into account information about injured servicemen who did not work at the Black Sea Fleet headquarters.
At least two Russian generals were injured in the attack, reports Budanov, the head of Ukrainian military intelligence. “Among those injured is the commander of the group, Colonel General (Alexander) Romanchuk, who is in very serious condition. The Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General (Oleg) Tsokov, is unconscious,” reported Budanov. He did not confirm reports about the possible death of Admiral Viktor Sokolov, who commands Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine’s intelligence agency said it does not have information about Sokolov’s condition.
The Ukrainian military’s general staff reported that the attack was carried out while the leadership of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was in a meeting. Ukraine’s military reported that the operation, called “Crab Trap,” was conducted by Ukraine’s Air Force and Special Forces. “The details of the conduct [of the operation] will be known when it is possible,” the general staff reported. “The result is dozens of dead and wounded occupiers, among them the fleet’s top leadership.”
The attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet headquarters was carried out using Storm Shadow cruise missiles, reported the British TV channel Sky News, referencing Ukraine’s Air Force representatives. Ukraine’s military intelligence chief Budanov didn’t say whether the missiles used in the attack were produced in Western countries. “I have to refrain from answering here, I think you must understand,” he said. The U.K. provided Ukraine with Storm Shadow missiles in May. France gave Ukraine SCALP missiles (the French name for Storm Shadow) in July. Earlier, Sky News reported that these missiles were used by Ukraine’s Armed Forces to attack a shipyard in annexed Sevastopol overnight on September 13.
Media and Telegram channels posted photos and videos of the missile attack on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters. The Telegram channel Insider UA posted a video which appears to show the moment of the missile strike. The video shows a missile hitting the burning headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet. The outlet Krym Realii also posted a photo which appears to show a missile flying into the burning building.
Atesh, a military partisan movement among Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the occupied territories of Ukraine, says that partisans and residents of Sevastopol helped support Ukraine’s missile strike on the headquarters. The movement’s representatives said that they secured the cooperation of Black Sea Fleet officers.
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