Ukrainian forces struck a Russian Black Sea fleet head quarter near Sevastopol in occupied Crimea on Friday morning, the Ukrainian military said.
It gave no further details except to say the attack was successful. Earlier on Wednesday, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol said a missile attack on the city had been prevented. Russia seized and annexed Crimea in 2014.
Police asked residents to leave the central part of the city, Tass said.
Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council has said there were two options for the future of Russia’s Black Sea fleet – voluntary or forced “self-neutralisation”.
If it did not choose the voluntary option, it “will be sliced up like a salami”, he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Ukrainian officials, who have claimed responsibility for a series of other recent attacks on Crimea, didn’t immediately announce Kyiv launched the strike.
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 aid package being considered.
The port city of Sevastopol serves as the main base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. A Ukrainian drone hit the fleet’s headquarters in July 2022, injuring six people and causing minor damage to the building.
Last week, the Russian-installed authorities in the city 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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