At least 5 dead after missile fragments scatter over beachgoers in Russian-held Crimea

At least 5 dead after missile fragments scatter over beachgoers in Russian-held Crimea
At least 5 dead after missile fragments scatter over beachgoers in Russian-held Crimea

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - KYIV — At least five people were killed and over 100 injured when missile fragments scattered over beachgoers during a Ukrainian strike on the city of Sevastopol in Russia-occupied Crimea, authorities say.

“Unfortunately, we currently have 124 victims, of which three [are] dead children and two [are] dead adults,” Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a post on Telegram that Ukraine carried out the attack using “US-supplied ATACMS operational-tactical missiles equipped with cluster warheads.”

Four missiles were shot down by Russian air defense but another “deviated from its flight trajectory in the final section due to the impact of air defenses, with the warhead exploding in the air over the city,” the post added.

Video footage posted on X shows the aftermath of the strike, with wounded civilians seen being carried from the beach in stretchers before being loaded into vehicles. Beachgoers, some of them still in their swimwear, can be seen evacuating the area.

One of victims killed in the Ukrainian strike was the daughter of Oleg Averyanov, Deputy Mayor of Magadan. Yuri Grishan, the Mayor of Magadan, said Averyanov’s daughter Sofia was nine and on vacation with her parents in Sevastopol.

The casualties were partially caused by the timing of the strike, which came “at a time when civilians, some were returning from work, some had already gone to the beach with their children,” according to Governor Razvozhayev, who has announced a day of mourning.

According to eyewitnesses on the ground, there was no air raid siren which warned of the attack. Many local residents also took to the comment section of official posts to express their dissatisfaction about the air raid siren not alerting them to an incoming attack.

In response to Ukraine’s attack on Sevastopol, the Russian Ministry of Defense said “such actions will not go unanswered,” saying responsibility for the attack lied with Washington.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin is in constant contact with Sevastopol authorities, adding that the Russian government’s priority is to provide all necessary assistance to victims, RIA says.

Ukraine has not officially commented on the attack, but CNN has reached out to the Ukrainian military for a comment.

Crimea has been occupied by Russia since its forces annexed the peninsula in 2014. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it has come under sporadic attack from Ukrainian forces.

Kyiv has previously insisted that its strikes on Crimea, which have targeted Russian naval bases and vessels, are an integral part of their strategy, intended to try to isolate the peninsula and make it more difficult for Russia to sustain its military operations on the Ukrainian mainland, a Ukrainian source familiar with the strategy told CNN last year.

Before Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Sevastopol – the largest city in Crimea – was a popular tourist destination for Russians. Even after the outbreak of war, Russians have continued to flock to the coastal city despite the dangers. — CNN

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