kyiv said it carried out a “successful strike” on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in annexed Crimea on Friday, September 22. The operation left at least one person missing. This Ukrainian region annexed by Moscow in 2014 and the city of Sevastopol, where the targeted naval headquarters is located, are at the heart of the Russian military system for its invasion of Ukraine, both to supply the troops occupying southern Ukraine and to carry out missile strikes from the sea.

“The enemy carried out a missile attack on the fleet headquarters,” Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev wrote on Telegram. The Russian Defense Ministry, which initially announced the death of a soldier, then clarified that he was missing.

After a few hours of silence, the Ukrainian army welcomed this “successful strike against the headquarters of the command of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the temporarily occupied city of Sevastopol.”

The exact extent of the damage is not yet known, but Russian authorities admitted that the building was “damaged.” Governor Razvojaev said early in the afternoon that it was in flames and that the “fight against the fire” was continuing. The shockwave also shattered the windows of ten residential buildings in the city center but “no one was injured,” he later added.

Around the headquarters, debris was visible for several hundred meters and numerous ambulances were present, according to the Russian agency Tass. Five missiles were also shot down over Crimea, according to the Russian army.

Oleg Krioutchko, an advisor to the Russian-installed leader on the peninsula, also announced a few hours after the strike that Crimea was hit by an “unprecedented” cyberattack against internet service providers, which caused cuts. But he did not indicate whether this computer attack was directly linked to the strikes.

Ukraine has increased drone and missile strikes in Crimea in recent weeks, claiming the destruction in particular of anti-aircraft defense systems, a shipyard and two ships located there. The Ukrainian armed forces want to both disrupt the Russian supply chain and end Russia’s military control over the Black Sea.

These successes demonstrate the difficulties of Russian anti-aircraft defense, while Ukraine, in the midst of a counter-offensive to liberate its territories, is trying to disorganize the Russian defense by attacking its supply lines and command centers far behind the front line. .

Earlier on Friday, Russian authorities announced without explanation that all passenger maritime transport was suspended sine die, until further notice, from Sevastopol. The Russian Defense Ministry then assured that it had foiled a Ukrainian attack by destroying a guided missile and two drones targeting Crimea. The headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet was previously the target of a drone attack in August 2022, which left six people injured.

Russian occupation authorities in Donetsk also said Friday that Ukraine had carried out multiple assaults in the region the day before, increasing pressure on the eastern front. The head of the Russian occupation of the Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, said that the situation in Bakhmout, a town devastated by a year of fighting and the target of a Ukrainian counter-offensive, remained “hot”, the area being subjugated to “chaotic bombings.”

The Ukrainian army has recaptured two localities in recent days – Andriïivka and Klichtchiïvka – and even says it has “pierced” the Russian defense line in this sector.

In the rest of Ukraine, a new Russian salvo of more than 40 cruise missiles on Thursday left three people dead in Kherson, in the south, and seven injured in Kiev, the capital. National police said on Friday that a total of seven people had died in the Kherson region due to Russian strikes over the past 24 hours.