Suspected drone strike on Crimea fuel depot causes massive fire

  • A suspected drone hit a Crimean oil depot.
  • A huge fire was observed.
  • Russia struck Uman in Ukraine, killing 23 people.

A huge fire erupted in Moscow-annexed Crimea after a suspected drone attack hit an oil depot, as fighting intensified on the southern Ukrainian front and shelling deprived Russian border villages of power.

The attacks on Saturday came one day after Kyiv said preparations for a long-awaited counteroffensive were nearly complete, having vowed to expel Russian forces from territory they seized in the east and south following their 2022 invasion.

On Friday, a Russian strike on a block of flats in the central Ukrainian city of Uman killed 23 people, including a baby boy.

On Saturday, officials in Moscow-controlled Crimea, towns under Russian occupation in southern Ukraine reported attacks.

The governor of a Russian region near the border with Ukraine also said two people were killed when a Ukrainian missile hit a village.

“As a result of the strike inflicted by Ukrainian nationalists, unfortunately, two civilians were killed,” Alexander Bogomaz, governor of Bryansk oblast, said in a message posted on Telegram, reporting an attack on Suzemka.

READ | Russia kills at least 12 people in biggest Ukraine air strikes for nearly two months

Fears of Ukrainian reprisals more than a year into Moscow’s offensive have grown in Russia, where a range of cities have cancelled traditional 9 May celebrations to mark the Soviet victory over the Nazis at the end of World War II in 1945.

In Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, clouds of smoke rose high into the sky as fuel reserves burned.

The Crimean port city has been hit by a series of drone attacks since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine began more than a year ago.

Russian-installed authorities said the fire was caused by a suspected drone but sought to play down the incident, amid rising security fears on the peninsula.

The Kremlin said nothing about the attack.

It came less than 24 hours after Russia struck a typical Soviet-era housing block in the historic city of Uman, killing more than two dozen residents.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his evening address on Saturday, said six children had been killed in the attack – the previous figure given by the authorities had been five.

He added:

We will do everything possible to ensure that the terrorist state is held accountable for its actions as soon as possible.

“Anyone who prepares such rocket attacks cannot but know that they will become an accomplice to murder.”

The Ukraine leader said that next week would be important in terms of “our struggle for justice”.

He stressed that Kyiv was preparing “several important, powerful steps to consolidate our partners and give more energy to the creation of a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression. And to accelerate the defeat of the terrorist state”.

Earlier Kyiv had identified an 18-month-old baby boy as among the victims.

“One woman is considered missing. The search continues,” Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klymenko said.

Ukraine did not claim the Crimea attack, but military intelligence implied it was revenge for Uman.

Andriy Yusov, from the defence ministry’s intelligence unit, said it was “God’s punishment, in particular for the civilians killed in Uman”.

He warned people in Crimea to “avoid being near military facilities and facilities providing the aggressor’s army in the near future”.

On the Russian-annexed peninsula, the governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, urged Crimeans to “remain calm” and said “nobody was hurt”.

He estimated the fire was “around 1 000m2“.

Razvozhayev insisted that the peninsula’s reserves had not been impacted and that authorities had enough fuel for all civilian needs.

Earlier this week, Moscow said it had repelled a drone strike on Crimea – annexed by Russia in 2014 and used as a launchpad for its invasion.

In southern Ukraine, Russian occupation authorities said a key city they control – Novaya Kakhovka – had come under “intense shelling” and had been cut off from power.

The city fell to Russian forces on the first day of their invasion on 24 February 2022. It lies in the part of the Kherson region that Moscow still controls, having withdrawn from the eponymous regional capital last November.

This video grab taken from a footage on the Telegram channel of Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, shows a huge fire at a fuel depot in Sevastopol.

Russian forces urged people in the city “to keep calm”, saying work to restore power would start “after the shelling ends”.

The shelling of Novaya Kakhovka came a day after Russian shelling killed a 57-year-old woman in a southern Ukrainian village. Zelensky had promised a response.

Inside Russia there are fears of an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive.

The governor of the border Belgorod region – also hit by several attacks during the course of the war – said on Saturday that five frontier villages were without power after Ukrainian shelling.

“The power lines are damaged,” Gladkov said, adding that there had been no victims.

Elsewhere, Russia accused Poland – with whom it has historically poor relations – of a “blatant violation” of international norms after Warsaw impounded a school run by the Russian embassy in the Polish capital.

Moscow called the move an “illegal act” and promised “harsh” consequences.

Related Posts

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) logo  at the entrance to its headquarters in Moscow, in December 2023. (Photo by Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP)

Russian loses appeal against Olympic ban because of its Ukraine invasion

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) logo at the entrance to its headquarters in Moscow, in December 2023. (Photo by Natalia KOLESNIKOVA / AFP) The Court of…

Firetrucks are parked next to the residential block ravaged by a huge fire that killed at least four people, in Valenci. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)

Four dead, 19 missing as fire guts polyurethane-clad Spanish apartment block

Firetrucks are parked next to the residential block ravaged by a huge fire that killed at least four people, in Valenci. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN /…

A handout picture released by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on 22 February 2024 shows packages of cocaine seized at the harbour of Southampton, southern England, announced the Organised Crime Agency (NCA). On 8 February 2024, British police made a record seizure of 5.7 tonnes of cocaine in a container in the port of Southampton. The cocaine, with a street value of more than £450 million according to UK market prices, was concealed in a cargo of bananas from South America. NCA investigators believe that the final destination of the goods was the German port of Hamburg.

UK authorities seize ‘biggest ever’ cocaine shipment worth £450m

A handout picture released by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on 22 February 2024 shows packages of cocaine seized at the harbour of Southampton, southern England,…

Bobi, in February 2023, in front of his birth place at his home in the village of Conqueiros in Leiria. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

Guinness World Records yanks Bobi’s title as world’s oldest dog

Bobi, in February 2023, in front of his birth place at his home in the village of Conqueiros in Leiria. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA…

US President Joe Biden at an event in Culver City, California, on 21 February 2024. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)

‘Crazy SOB’: Joe Biden is calling Vladimir Putin names to look like a cowboy, Kremlin says

US President Joe Biden at an event in Culver City, California, on 21 February 2024. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) Joe Biden is trying to…

The collapsed section of the Lixinsha bridge over a waterway in Guangzhou, in southern China's Guangdong province on 22 February. A cargo ship struck the bridge, causing cars to plummet into the water.  (Photo by CNS / AFP)

Two killed after ship hits bridge near China’s Guangzhou, plunging cars in the water

The collapsed section of the Lixinsha bridge over a waterway in Guangzhou, in southern China’s Guangdong province on 22 February. A cargo ship struck the bridge,…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *