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Ukraine launches new missile attack near Putin’s military airfield in Crimea’s Sevastopol

New missile strike comes days after Black Sea navy commander believed to have died in devastating attack

Arpan Rai
Tuesday 26 September 2023 05:40 BST
Fire rips through Odesa hotel after Russian missile strike

Ukraine has launched a fresh missile attack on a military airfield in Crimea’s Sevastopol, officials said.

Sevastopol, a vulnerable Russian target in Crimea where Moscow parks its Black Sea Fleet, has come under repeated targeting in recent months as Ukraine looks to destroy Vladimir Putin’s logistics and infrastructure on the peninsula that Russia had illegally annexed in 2014.

Russian air defence units downed a missile near the Belbek military airfield in the late hours on Monday, Russian-backed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on his official Telegram channel early Tuesday.

Sevastopol remained under an air raid alert starting around 11.30pm on Monday, as per Mr Razvozhayev’s Telegram message. It continued for an hour, covering midnight, as Russian air defence systems were activated.

Traffic on the main bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean peninsula was also impacted during the attack, but was restored shortly after.

The raid alert was subsequently lifted around 12.30am, said the Russian-installed governor.

This comes just three days after one Ukrainian missile struck the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea navy in Sevastopol on 22 September.

While Ukraine never directly takes responsibility for attacks on Crimea and other Russian targets, it has expressed satisfaction at the strikes.

On Friday, it also indirectly showed the massive attack on Black Sea navy headquarters in its video of Ukrainian attacks on Russian positions.

Mr Putin’s commander of his Black Sea Fleet has been killed in a missile strike in annexed Crimea, according to Ukraine.

Admiral Viktor Sokolov was among 34 officers who died when British-made Storm Shadow missiles hit the Russian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol during the devastating attack.

The death of Sokolov – said to have been handpicked by Mr Putin for the job last year – was announced by the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces in a social media update on Monday.

Moscow has not yet responded to the claim.

The Russian defence ministry initially said the strike had killed one service member, but later issued a statement that he was missing.

On Monday, Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said Sokolov was among the 34 killed during the missile strike. They also claimed 105 other occupiers were injured.

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