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Ukraine Targets Crimean City  09/23 07:41


   KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine on Saturday morning launched another missile 
attack on Sevastopol in occupied Crimea, a Russian-installed official said, a 
day after an attack on the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet left a 
serviceman missing and the main building smoldering.

   Sevastopol was put on air raid alert for about an hour after debris from 
intercepted missiles fell near a pier, Gov. Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on the 
messaging app Telegram. Ferry traffic in the area was also halted and later 

   Loud blasts were also heard near Vilne in northern Crimea, followed by 
rising clouds of smoke, according to a pro-Ukrainian Telegram news channel that 
reports on developments on the peninsula. Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia 
in 2014, has been a frequent target for Ukrainian forces since Russian 
President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of the neighboring 
country almost 19 months ago.

   Ukraine's intelligence chief, Kyrylo Budanov, told Voice of America on 
Saturday that at least nine people were killed and 16 injured as a result of 
Kyiv's attack on the Black Sea Fleet on Friday. He claimed that Alexander 
Romanchuk, a Russian general commanding forces along the key southeastern front 
line, was "in a very serious condition" following the attack.

   Budanov's claim could not be independently verified, and he did not comment 
on whether Western-made missiles were used in Friday's strike.

   The Russian Defense Ministry initially said that Friday's strike killed one 
service member at the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, but later issued a 
statement that he was missing.

   Ukraine's military also offered more details about Friday's attack on 
Sevastopol. It said the air force conducted 12 strikes on the Black Sea Fleet 
headquarters, targeting areas where personnel, military equipment and weapons 
were concentrated. It said two anti-aircraft missile systems and four Russian 
artillery units were hit.

   Crimea has served as the key hub supporting Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. 
Sevastopol, the main base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet since the 19th century, 
has had a particular importance for navy operations since the start of the 
invasion of Ukraine.

   Ukraine has increasingly targeted naval facilities in Crimea in recent weeks 
while the brunt of its summer counteroffensive makes slow gains in the east and 
south of Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War said. Military experts say 
it is essential for Ukraine to keep up its attacks on targets in Crimea to 
degrade Russian morale and weaken its military.

   Elsewhere, Ukraine's military said Saturday that Russia launched 15 
Iranian-made Shahed drones at the front-line Zaporizhzhia region in the 
southeast, as well as Dnipropetrovsk province farther north. It claimed to have 
destroyed 14 of the drones.

   Separately, Zaporizhzhia regional Gov. Yuri Malashko said that Russia over 
the previous day carried out 86 strikes on 27 settlements in the province, many 
of them lying only a few kilometers (miles) from the fighting. Malashko said 
that an 82-year- old civilian was killed by artillery fire.

   In the neighboring Kherson region, Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin said at least one 
person died and three were injured over the past day because of Russian 
shelling. Russia fired 25 shells targeting the city of Kherson, which lies 
along the Dneiper River that marks the contact line between the warring sides, 
Prokudin said.

   Residential quarters were hit, including medical and education institutions, 
government-built stations that serve food and drinks, as well as critical 
infrastructure facilities and a penitentiary, he said.

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