On Saturday morning, Ukraine unleashed a second missile blitz on Sevastopol, situated on the seized Crimean Peninsula, as noted by a Russian-appointed official. This came hot on the heels of a prior attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters just a day before, leaving a soldier unaccounted for and the main edifice smoldering.
Post the attack, Sevastopol found itself under an air raid warning for nearly an hour, following the fall of missile remnants close to a dock, shared Gov. Mikhail Razvozhayev on the chat app, Telegram. He later mentioned that another piece of missile made its way to a park in northern Sevastopol, leading to certain areas being roped off. The local ferry hustle was brought to a standstill, only to kick back into gear sometime later.
Moreover, earsplitting booms echoed near Vilne in northern Crimea, with plumes of smoke chasing the sounds, noted a pro-Ukraine Telegram news channel keeping tabs on the peninsula happenings. Ever since its unlawful snatch by Russia in 2014, Crimea has repeatedly found itself in the crosshairs of Ukrainian forces, particularly after Russian President Vladimir Putin commanded a full-fledged siege on Ukraine in February 2022.
Ukraine’s Repeat Missile Onslaught on Sevastopol in a Span of Two Days
On Saturday, Ukraine’s top spy, Kyrylo Budanov, spilled the beans to Voice of America about the grim fallout from Kyiv’s assault on the Black Sea Fleet, anchored in Sevastopol, the previous day. He tallied at least nine people meeting their end, with another 16 licking their wounds. He even hinted that a Russian bigwig, General Alexander Romanchuk, who’s at the helm along a crucial southeastern frontline, is now in rough waters post-attack.
Though, a grain of salt might be handy as Budanov’s tidbits stand unconfirmed from other corners. And he zippered up when poked about if Western-manufactured missiles made a show in Friday’s attack. Over at the Russian Defense Ministry, the word initially was that the attack sent one serviceman to his grave at the Black Sea Fleet HQ, but later they moonwalked, labeling the guy as MIA.
Ukraine’s armed forces didn’t shy from dishing out more on Friday’s escapade. They boasted about their flyboys swooping down a dozen times on the Black Sea Fleet HQ, having a go at spots teeming with soldiers, military gizmos, and armaments. Their brag list includes knocking out two anti-aircraft missile setups and landing punches on four Russian artillery outfits.
Why’s Sevastopol a Big Deal in the War?
Crimea’s been the go-to spot backing Russia’s all-out charge into Ukraine. And Sevastopol? It’s where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet has been hanging its hat since way back in the 1800s, making it a big kahuna for navy moves since the war kicked off.
Lately, Ukraine’s been taking aim at naval digs in Crimea, while its summer pushback is slowly but surely making headway in Ukraine’s east and south, so says the Institute for the Study of War. Military brains reckon, for Ukraine, keeping the heat on in Crimea is a solid move to knock the wind out of Russian spirits and put a dent in their military might.
U.S. to Hand Over Long-Range ATACMS Ballistic Missiles to Ukraine
In a sit-down at the White House on Thursday, President Biden spilled the beans to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the U.S. is on board to dish out long-range ATACMS ballistic missiles to Ukraine, as per what the people told CBS News on Friday.
ATACMS, standing for Army Tactical Missile System, can hit the mark from a whopping 190 miles away and are buddies with the HIMARS mobile rocket launchers, which the Ukrainian military already got their hands on.
These big boomers will let Ukraine’s military guys lob a few over at Russian supply trails and command hubs, even if they’re a good stretch beyond the front lines.
Earlier on, the American bigwigs were biting their nails over shipping these missiles to Ukraine, fretting it might put a kink in U.S. military pep, and maybe make Russia see red, thinking things are stepping up a notch.