Russia Blames Drone Assault For Crimea Fuel Depot Blaze

A drone strike caused a fire at a fuel storage facility in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, sending a vast column of black smoke into the sky before it was extinguished, the city’s Moscow-installed governor has said.

Experts examined the site and “it became clear that only one drone was able to reach the oil reservoir”, Mikhail Razvozhaev said on the Telegram messaging app on Saturday.

He added no one was hurt in the fire and that another drone had crashed, with the wreckage located near the terminal.

According to RBC Ukraine, a Ukrainian military intelligence official stated that more than ten tanks of oil products with a capacity of roughly 40,000 tonnes destined for use by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet were destroyed.

In comments quoted by RBC, Andriy Yusov did not blame Ukraine for the explosion, instead describing it as “God’s punishment” for a Russian strike on a Ukrainian city on Friday.

“This punishment will be long-lasting. In the near future, it is better for all residents of temporarily occupied Crimea not to be near military facilities and facilities that provide for the aggressor’s army,” RBC quoted Yusov as saying.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for Ukraine’s military forces stated that he had no information indicating that Ukraine was responsible for the firing.

Russia Blames Drone Assault For Crimea

Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Sevastopol has been repeatedly attacked by air. Ukraine has consistently stated its willingness to reclaim the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014, sparking worldwide outrage.

After previous attacks on Crimea, Ukraine has stopped short of openly claiming responsibility but emphasised it has the right to strike any target in response to Russian aggression.

Razvozhayev reported on Monday the Russian military destroyed a Ukrainian surface sea drone that attempted to attack the harbour and a second drone had exploded. The blasts shattered windows in several apartment buildings but did not inflict any other damage, he said.

The firing in Sevastopol comes a day after a barrage of Russian missiles killed 25 people in Ukrainian residential areas, prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to call on allies to equip his soldiers with superior air defenses, including fighter jets.

“Air defense, a modern air force (without which effective air defense is impossible), artillery, and armored vehicles.” “Everything that is required to provide security to our cities and villages, both in the hinterland and on the front lines,” Zelenskyy said in a video statement released late Friday night.

He condemned the attack in the city of Uman in the early hours of Friday that he said killed at least 23 people, including four children.

Ten residential buildings were hit by missiles in Uman, in the Cherkasy region, officials said. One block of flats was destroyed. Eighteen people were injured in the attack, nine of whom were being treated in hospital.

A woman and her two-year-old daughter were also killed in the Dnipropetrovsk region by Russian bombardment at night.

“Weapons can stop Russian evil; our defenders are doing so.” And sanctions can stop it – global sanctions must be strengthened,” Zelenskyy wrote earlier in the day on Twitter.

The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, on Friday gave the total number of missiles fired at Ukraine during the night as 23. Of these, 21 were shot down, along with two drones. The Ukrainian military said cruise missiles were also fired near the capital, Kyiv, with air defences downing 11 of them.

Shelling in the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk killed seven people and injured 19, local authorities reported on Friday.

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