Ukraine largest attack on occupied Crimean port

Ukraine’s Largest Attack on Occupied Crimea Unfolds

Ukraine has executed its most extensive assault yet on Russian-occupied Crimea, launching a barrage of cruise missiles targeting a naval port just prior to Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. The intense strikes resulted in up to seven explosions devastating a naval port in Sevastopol, causing a shipyard to catch fire and injuring at least 24 individuals, according to Russian officials.

Strategic Significance of Sevastopol

Sevastopol, located in the Black Sea, holds immense strategic importance for Russia, serving as the headquarters of its Black Sea Fleet. This city became a primary target of Ukraine’s attack.

Extent of Damage

The attack inflicted substantial damage, engulfing a critical shipbuilding and repair yard in flames. Not only did the shipyard suffer, but a power plant and other naval facilities in the Black Sea were also impacted. Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that Ukraine fired ten cruise missiles at the shipyard and deployed three sea drones against Russian vessels in the Black Sea. While seven missiles were successfully intercepted, some struck two ships undergoing repairs in the shipyard, damaging additional structures.

Potential Naval Vessels Affected

Reports from Ukrainian military intelligence sources and Russian messaging app channels suggest that an amphibious landing ship and a submarine may have sustained damage in the attack. However, Ukrainian officials have not officially commented on the incident.

Historical Context

Kyiv seldom takes responsibility for attacks on Crimea or Russian territories, despite such incidents becoming increasingly frequent in recent months. The Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, has consistently been a focal point in the ongoing 18-month war.

Impact on Russian President Putin

The attack on Sevastopol adds to a series of military setbacks for Russian President Putin, who is concurrently engaged in high-stakes discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting between the two leaders carries the potential for a sanctions-evasion arms deal to bolster Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as its munitions supply dwindles amid Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

Russian President’s Meeting with Kim Jong Un

President Putin greeted Kim Jong Un warmly, emphasizing his delight at seeing the North Korean leader. Kim, a staunch supporter of Putin since the onset of the Ukrainian conflict, referred to their partnership as a battle against “imperialism” and asserted that they were engaged in a “sacred war” against the West.

Simultaneous Attacks on Odesa Region

Concurrently, as the assault on Sevastopol unfolded, Moscow launched drones against Ukraine’s Odesa region in the early hours of the morning. Odesa, another Black Sea city, suffered damage to its port and civilian infrastructure in the Izmail district, resulting in six injuries, including three serious cases.

Counteractions by Ukraine’s Air Force

Ukraine’s air force reported intercepting 32 out of 44 Shahed-type drones launched over Ukraine overnight, with a significant number directed toward the southern parts of the Odesa district. These events mark a continuation of the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with the situation evolving rapidly on multiple fronts.

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