Ukraine says Russia’s Black Sea Fleet commander killed No comment from Moscow

Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov salutes during a ceremony in Sevastopol.

Commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov salutes during a departure ceremony for reservists drawn up during partial mobilization in Sevastopol, Crimea, September 27, 2022. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak/File Photo Acquire License Rights

KYIV, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Ukrainian special forces said on Monday they had captured Moscow’s top admiral in Crimea along with 33 other officers in a missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet in the port of Sevastopol last week. has killed

The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond when asked by Reuters to confirm or deny that Admiral Viktor Sokolov, commander of the Black Sea Fleet and one of Russia’s most senior naval officers, had been killed.

However, Moscow-installed authorities in Sevastopol were taking extra steps to counter Ukraine’s escalating attacks on Crimea, a critical region from which Russia has launched many of its airstrikes against Ukraine in the 19-month-long war. are

If confirmed, Sokolov’s killing would be one of Kiev’s most significant attacks on Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

“After the attack on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 personnel, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, were killed. Another 105 occupants were injured,” Ukrainian special forces said on Telegram messaging. Cannot be restored”. App

It was not immediately clear how Ukrainian special forces tallied the number of dead and wounded in the attack.

Reuters could not independently verify the report. Each side has sometimes exaggerated the enemy’s losses in the war and understated their own losses.

In a statement after the attack, the Russian Defense Ministry said one soldier was missing, revising an earlier statement that the man had been killed. Air defense shot down five missiles, the ministry said.

Ukraine has stepped up its attacks on the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula and has begun using missiles in addition to attack drones. Kiev has said that destroying the Russian Black Sea fleet would significantly accelerate the end of the war.

Earlier this month, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukraine attacked a shipyard in the Black Sea with 10 cruise missiles.

In a possible sign of how serious the recent Ukrainian attacks on Sevastopol are, the city’s Russian-installed governor held a meeting Monday to develop better defenses and attack warning systems for the city.

“We understand that we have moved into a new situation that requires a systemic response,” Russian agencies quoted Governor Mikhail Rizoviyev as telling his government.

“Earlier, we and our army faced unmanned vehicle attacks… Now everything has changed and we must be prepared for this kind of threat.”

Reporting by Olena Hermash, Oleksandr Kozukhar and Lydia Kelly; Written by Olena Hermisch and Lydia Kelly; Edited by Timothy Heritage, Alex Richardson and Jamie Freed

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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