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Russia blames the U.S. for Ukrainian missile attack on Crimea
By Ramon Tomey // Jun 26, 2024

Russia is pointing its fingers at the U.S. for a missile attack on the annexed territory of Crimea launched by Ukraine.

Moscow leveled the accusation against Washington on June 23, noting that the five projectiles used during the strike on the same day were the U.S.-delivered Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). The Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) said four of the ATACMS projectiles were equipped with lethal cluster warheads. The four were shot down by Russian air defense systems, while the ammunition of the fifth missile had detonated in mid-air.

According to the MOD, U.S. specialists had set the missiles' flight coordinates based on information from U.S. spy satellites. This, it added, meant that Washington was directly to blame.

"Responsibility for the deliberate missile attack on the civilians of Sevastopol is borne above all by Washington, which supplied these weapons to Ukraine, and by the Kyiv regime from whose territory this strike was carried out," the ministry said. It added that Moscow will respond to the June 23 attack on Sevastopol, but did not elaborate.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin had been "in constant contact with the military" since the attack. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev, the country's former president, described the incident as "a vile, despicable act against our people."

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church meanwhile said there "was no justification whatsoever for a missile strike on civilians. He also expressed indignation that the incident occurred on the Trinity Day holiday, the Orthodox Church's celebration of the Catholic Pentecost.

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Neither Kyiv nor Washington has commented on the attack. Reuters was unable to immediately verify battlefield reports from either side. The June 23 attack killed four – including two children – and injured 151 others.

Fragments from American missiles land on Sevastopol beach, hit sunbathers

Moscow's accusations against Washington are indeed justified. The U.S. began supplying Ukraine with longer-range ATACMS missiles, which have a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles), earlier this year. Fragments from these same projectiles shot down by Russian air defenses fell on a beach in Sevastopol and hit sunbathers. (Related: U.S. quietly sent Ukraine long-range missiles following a secret directive from Biden.)

Authorities in Crimea confirmed the incident, adding that the fragments fell just after 12 p.m. of June 23. Footage on Russian state television showed people running from a beach and some people being carried off on sun loungers.

Sevastopol Gov. Mikhail Razvozhayev put the death toll at four, including two children. The nine-year-old daughter of the deputy mayor of a town in the north of Crimea was among the two children who died. Twenty-seven children were among the injured, he added.

"The entire health care system has been mobilized," said Razvozhayev. "Doctors and medical staff are at work. The operating rooms are deployed."

Irina Frolova, a medic, was swimming in the pool of a nearby hotel when she heard the Russian air defense systems hit the Ukrainian missile. This was followed by screams from the beach. She rushed her children to their hotel room and then ran down to help.

Frolova told the Izvestia newspaper: "There were a lot of wounded people there and by the time I arrived, they had already been taken off the beach to a parking lot. There were mostly shrapnel wounds. [But] a woman was hit in the neck by a double shrapnel; she died."

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, which was codified by a referendum that year. This was followed by the Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics, which were annexed into Russia in February 2022. The annexation of the two people's republics came days before Putin launched the "special military operation" against Ukraine.

The Russian leader has repeatedly accused the U.S. of using Ukraine to undermine Russian national security, an accusation Kyiv and its Western allies deny. He has also warned of growing risks of a direct confrontation between Moscow and the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Head over to WWIII.news for more similar stories.

Watch this footage of the ATACMS missile fragments falling on the beach at Sevastopol on June 23, which killed four and injured more than 100.

This video is from The Prisoner channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Putin responds to Ukraine's long-range missile strikes by arming allies.

Ukraine's experimental DRONE BOATS strike two Russian Navy ships in Crimea.

Ukrainian DRONE SWARMS target four Russian oil refineries in largest drone attack yet.

Russian lawmaker: Attack on Crimean Bridge "a declaration of war without rules" against Russia.

Ukraine conducts first strike using U.S.-supplied ATACMS missiles, allegedly destroying 9 Russian helicopters and 2 airfields.

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