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Ukraine bombards Russian Black Sea navy HQ in occupied Crimea

FILE: Russian cruiser Moskva in Sevastopol naval base, 2014. The Moskva was damaged by Ukrainian forces in 2022.
FILE: Russian cruiser Moskva in Sevastopol naval base, 2014. The Moskva was damaged by Ukrainian forces in 2022. Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
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At least one person is reported dead, while firefighters battled a blaze at the base in Sevastopol and more emergency forces were being brought in to deal with the emergency.

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Ukraine carried out a fiery missile strike Friday on the main headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, a Russian official said. 

Videos and photos showed large plumes of smoke over the building in Sevastopol in annexed Crimea.

At least one person is reported dead, while firefighters battled a blaze at the base and more emergency forces were being brought in, according to local Russian officials, a sign that the fire could be massive. 

A stream of ambulances were arriving at the fleet’s headquarters and shrapnel was scattered hundreds of metres (yards) around, the Tass news agency reported.

"Five missiles were shot down by air defence. The historic building of the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet was damaged by the attack. According to available information, one serviceman was killed," Russia's Ministry of Defence wrote on Telegram. 

Sevastopol residents were initially warned that another attack was possible and urged not to leave buildings or go to the city centre. 

Ukrainian officials, who have claimed responsibility for a series of other recent attacks on Crimea, didn’t immediately announce Kyiv launched the strike.

Sevastopol residents said they heard explosions in the skies and saw smoke, Russian news outlets reported. Images circulated in Ukrainian Telegram channels showed clouds of smoke over the seafront. 

AFP
This handout satellite picture created and released by BlackSky on September 13, 2023 shows a general view of the damage at the Sevastopol Shipyard in Crimea after a strike.AFP

The attack comes a day after Russian missiles and artillery pounded cities across Ukraine, killing at least five people as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders in Washington with an additional $24 billion (€22.5 billion) aid package being considered.

The port city of Sevastopol serves as the main base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Last week, the Russian-installed authorities there accused Ukraine of attacking a strategic shipyard in the city, damaging two ships undergoing repairs and causing a fire at the facility.

The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 in an act that most of the world considered illegal, has been a frequent target since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than 18 months ago. The attack on the shipyard was the biggest in weeks.

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