Crimea’s civilians sound alarm after Ukrainian drone hits Russian fleet HQ | Crimea

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A Ukrainian drone hit the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea this weekend, the latest attack on a region Moscow once considered an impregnable fortress.

On Saturday morning, plumes of smoke were seen from the military base in Sevastopol, and city residents were urged to stay home immediately after the strike, the latest in a series of high-profile attacks on sensitive targets there and in Russia.

Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhaev said there were no casualties, initially claiming the drone flew into the roof of the air base after troops stationed there were unable to shoot it down. He later said soldiers were able to target the drone and it fell on the roof of the airbase after being hit. “Clarification: The drone was hit… just above the fleet headquarters. It fell on the roof and caught fire. The attack failed. Well done guys,” he wrote.

Previous attacks in Crimea, including one earlier this month at Saky Air Base that sent fireballs into the sky and destroyed nine or more fighter jets, prompted many residents to flee the peninsula.

Concerned locals responded to Razvozhaev by asking how a drone had slipped through air defenses considered to be one of the most advanced in the world at the start of the war. “Was our air defense system on a lunch break?” asked one. “When are you finally going to close the city?” asked another, suggesting the attacks were the work of pro-Ukrainian partisans on the peninsula. “We fought harder against the coronavirus! There were checkpoints everywhere then, now everyone comes in!!!!”

Another wondered if there were more attacks to come. Wednesday, August 24 is Ukraine’s Independence Day and will also be six months since the Russian invasion.

Many in the country are concerned that Moscow is preparing some sort of major attack that day, but the people of Crimea are also apparently concerned that Ukraine wants to celebrate its successful resistance.

“They have Independence Day on the 24th, maybe they are preparing something? And the [drone] is just to divert attention from the most important thing.”

The attacks came a day after the US announced a $775 million weapons package for Ukraine, including drones, armored vehicles and artillery.

Government officials have repeatedly said that while Western weapons enabled the country to save Kiev and hold back Russia in other areas, they are still seriously short of the weapons needed to decisively defeat Russia.

The promised stocks are also slowly coming in. Last week, a leading source estimated that only 10% of the weapons promised by the West had reached Ukraine. And on Saturday, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak warned that Moscow was trying to create a “reputation crisis” for Ukraine that would slow the flow of Western weapons.

Ukrainian forces are being crushed with weapons to the south and east, where Russian forces are still slowly advancing through a wasteland of ruined cities before being taken.

On Saturday, they stepped up the fight to take Bakhmut, one of the last major cities in the Donetsk region still held by Ukrainian forces, which would clear the way for Russia to pursue two other strategic targets, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. , to take.

Last month Russia took over the entire Luhansk region, which together with Donetsk forms the industrial heart of Donbas. Russian-backed separatists have themselves proclaimed a few independent republics there.

After Russia’s failure to take Kiev and setbacks in parts of the south, including around the city of Kherson, capturing territory here has become an important military goal for Moscow.

Shelling in the Mykolaiv region also seriously injured four children and five adults, with one girl losing an eye, Governor Vitaliy Kim said. Shells have landed in the city of Voznesensk, just 30 km from the country’s second largest nuclear power plant.

There is growing global concern over Russia’s occupation of the nearby plant in Zaporizhzhya, Europe’s largest, and the suspicion that Russian authorities could attempt to disconnect it from the Ukrainian electricity grid, which could increase the risk of a nuclear accident. enlarge.

Additional reporting: Artem Mazhulin

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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