Ukrainian drones strike Crimea oil depot, Russian official says

A nonetheless picture from a video exhibits smoke rising following an alleged drone assault on oil depot in Sevastopol, Crimea, April 29, 2023. 

Mikhail Razvozhaev By way of Telegram | By way of Reuters

A large fireplace erupted at an oil depot in Crimea after it was hit by two of Ukraine’s drones, a Russia-appointed official there reported Saturday, the newest in a sequence of assaults on the annexed peninsula as Russia braces for an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, a port metropolis in Crimea, posted movies and pictures of the blaze on his Telegram channel.

Razvozhayev mentioned the fireplace on the metropolis’s harbor was assigned the best rating by way of how difficult it is going to be to extinguish. Nonetheless, he reported that the open blaze had been contained.

Razvozhayev mentioned the oil depot was attacked by “two enemy drones,” and 4 oil tanks burned down. A 3rd drone was shot down from the sky, and another was deactivated by radio-electronic means, in response to Crimea’s Moscow-appointed governor, Sergei Aksyonov.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a transfer that a lot of the world thought of unlawful. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned in an interview this week that his nation will search to reclaim the peninsula within the upcoming counteroffensive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea final month to mark the ninth anniversary of the Black Sea peninsula’s annexation from Ukraine. Putin’s go to occurred the day after the Worldwide Legal Court docket issued an arrest warrant for the Russian chief accusing him of conflict crimes.

The assault reported in Sevastopol comes a day after Russia fired greater than 20 cruise missiles and two drones at Ukraine, killing not less than 23 folks. Virtually all the victims died when two missiles slammed into an condominium constructing within the metropolis of Uman, positioned in central Ukraine.

Six kids have been among the many lifeless, Ukrainian Inside Minister Ihor Klymenko mentioned Saturday, including that 22 of the 23 our bodies recovered have been recognized. Two girls remained lacking, Klymenko mentioned.

Russian forces launched extra drones at Ukraine in a single day. Ukraine’s Air Power Command mentioned two Iranian-made self-exploding Shahed drones have been intercepted, and a reconnaissance drone was shot down on Saturday morning.

Razvozhayev mentioned the oil depot fireplace didn’t trigger any casualties and wouldn’t hinder gas provides in Sevastopol. The town has been topic to common assault makes an attempt with drones, particularly in latest weeks.

Earlier this week, Razvozhayev reported that the Russian navy destroyed a Ukrainian sea drone that tried to assault the harbor and one other one blew up, shattering home windows in a number of condominium buildings, however not inflicting every other injury.

Ukraine’s navy intelligence spokesperson, Andriy Yusov, informed the RBC Ukraine information website on Saturday that the oil depot fireplace was “God’s punishment” for “the murdered civilians in Uman, together with 5 kids.”

He mentioned that greater than 10 tanks containing oil merchandise for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet have been destroyed in Sevastopol, however stopped wanting acknowledging Ukraine’s accountability for a drone assault. The distinction between the variety of tanks Yusov and Razvozhayev gave couldn’t be instantly reconciled.

After earlier assaults on Crimea, Kyiv additionally would not overtly declare accountability, however emphasised that the nation had the fitting to strike any goal in response to Russian aggression.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian forces shelled the town of Nova Kakhovka, in response to Moscow-installed authorities within the Russian-occupied a part of southern Ukraine’s Kherson province. “Extreme artillery fireplace” reduce off energy within the metropolis, the officers mentioned.

The Ukrainian-controlled a part of the province additionally got here underneath fireplace on Saturday. Russian shelling within the space of the village of Bilozerka killed one individual and wounded one other, in response to the Kherson prosecutor’s workplace.

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