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Top officials among those killed in strike on Russian Black Sea fleet, Ukraine says

Nature

A strike against the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet left dozens dead and injured, “including senior officials,” the Ukrainian army said on Saturday.

Operation “Crab Trap” was carried out “on time and accurately” during a meeting of senior Russian naval officials on Friday in the city building of Sevastopol in Crimea, special operations forces said of the country in a press release published on Telegram.

“The result is dozens of deaths and injuries among the occupiers, including senior leaders of the fleet,” the message said, adding that more details would be released “as soon as possible.”

NBC News was unable to independently verify this report, but shortly after the attack, the Russian Defense Ministry said a serviceman had been killed. A later statement said he was missing, adding that five missiles were shot down by Russian air defense systems in response to the attack on the occupied coastal town.

NBC News has reached out to the Department of Defense for comment.

Mikhail Razvozhaev, Moscow-based governor of Sevastopol, said in a Telegram message on Saturday that firefighters had “managed to bring the fire under control” and that “the fire at the fleet headquarters was successfully localized.”

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the country’s armed forces said in a statement that a Russian missile attack on the central industrial city of Kremenchuk injured more than 30 people, including three children, overnight Friday.

Civilians in Yurkivka, in the southeastern Zaporizhzhia region, were also injured in missile attacks, with private homes and civilian infrastructure damaged, the statement posted on Facebook added.

The Russian attacks used “Shahed” missiles – unarmed, self-detonating Iranian-made drones. Air defenses shot down two of the six drones, the statement said.

NBC News was unable to independently verify this information.

The attacks took place as Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden and congressional leaders in Washington. Biden told his Ukrainian counterpart on Friday that the United States would provide a small number of long-range military tactical missile systems, known as ATACMS and colloquially called “ems-attacks,” to bolster the fight against Russia.

The missiles were part of a $325 million military aid package announced Thursday by President Biden, including air defense capabilities, cluster munitions and anti-tank weapons.

kyiv has been pushing for several months to receive the missiles. They will give Ukraine the ability to strike targets such as supply lines, railways and command and control sites behind Russian front lines up to 180 miles away.

While Ukrainian troops have broken through Russia’s heavily fortified early defensive lines in the south and advanced to the east, as winter approaches, the Ukrainian army has yet to achieve a decisive breakthrough .

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Biden administration has changed its position on what weapons it is willing to supply to the Ukrainian military.

The White House initially refused to approve requests for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, howitzer artillery pieces, anti-ship missiles and HIMARS systems, but later gave the green light to their shipment. Two months ago, Biden signed a presidential waiver on the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine,

This latest aid came as cracks begin to appear in Western support for Ukraine. Earlier this week, Kiev filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against EU members Hungary, Poland and Slovakia for banning imports of Ukrainian agricultural products, a key export for the economy of the country battered by the war.

As next year’s elections approach, frontrunners for the Republican presidential bid also appear to be abandoning their support for the war and have hinted at a reduction in military aid.

Nature
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