A drone attack at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet wounded six people and shut down a festival marking Navy Day in the Crimean peninsula city of Sevastopol, the mayor said Sunday.
“There were no fatalities, six people were injured, two in moderate condition, the rest are in stable condition,” Major Mikhail Razvozhaev said on social media.
The Black Sea Fleet’s press service said the drone appeared to be homemade and described the explosive device as “low-power.” Crimean authorities raised the terrorism threat level for the region to “yellow,” the second-highest tier.
Sevastopol is about 100 miles south of the Ukrainian mainland and has been under Russian control since 2014. Russian forces also control much of the mainland coast area along the Black Sea. There was no immediate information on where the drone came from.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed to take Crimea back from Russia. His top aide from him said the drone strike was a reflection of Russia’s weak air defenses.
“Did the occupiers admit the helplessness of their air defense system? Or their helplessness in front of the Crimean partisans?” Oleksiy Arestovich said on Telegram.
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►Mykolaiv Mayor Vitaliy Kim said one of Ukraine’s richest men was killed in a carefully targeted Russian missile strike on his home. Oleksiy Vadatursky headed a grain production and export business.
►Russian rockets hit a school in Kharkiv and a bus station in Sloviansk, among other strikes. In southern Ukraine, one person was reported killed and six injured in shelling in a residential area in Mykolaiv, local officials said.
►Russia’s state-owned natural gas corporation said it has halted shipments to Latvia because of contract violations. Gas giant Gazprom said the shipments were stopped because Latvia broke “terms for extraction of gas”; the statement likely referred to a refusal to meet Russia’s demand for gas payments in rubles.
New Russian maritime policy targets US, NATO
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a Maritime Doctrine on Sunday that claims US efforts toward dominance in the world’s oceans and NATO’s mounting activity are major security threats to Russia. The new policy, posted on the Kremlin’s legal information web portal, cites the global US influence on issues related to the use of transportation lanes and energy resources.
The policy calls for developing Russia’s shipbuilding industry in the Far East, in particular, for building “large-tonnage vessels” for use in the Arctic as well as advanced aircraft carriers for the navy.
Strategic goals of the policy include raising Russian navy’s combat capabilities to protect Russia’s national security and its national interests.
Zelenskyy declares mandatory evacuation from Donetsk region
As Russian forces and separatists try to completely take over the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials are calling for citizens to evacuate from Ukrainian-held parts of Donetsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a mandatory evacuation and urged people to leave the region and to persuade their loved ones still there to go, according to CNN and Reuters.
“The sooner it is done, the more people leave Donetsk region now, the fewer people the Russian army will have time to kill,” he said in his nightly video address Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk warned Saturday that the region will face severe heating problems this winter because of the destruction of gas mains and said people should evacuate before the cold sets in.
Ukraine sees some success repelling Russian forces
Ukrainian forces have likely “successfully repelled small-scale Russian assaults” near Donetsk in the Donbas region, the British Ministry of Defense said. In Kherson, the ministry said, Russian forces have established pontoon bridges to “compensate for the fact that nearby bridges have been damaged in recent strikes.”
A senior US defense official also said Ukrainians have been making advances in the Kherson region at a press briefing on Friday: “Not large, giant advances, but they are certainly advances against the Russians,” the official said in background session for journalists. A senior military official at the briefing added that Russian forces appear to be “ill-prepared” for Ukraine’s counteroffensive there.
Ukraine condemns Russia for latest act of ‘terrorism’
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for Russia to be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism, citing the “deliberate mass murder” of Ukrainian war prisoners via shelling in the separatist eastern region of Donetsk.
Dozens of Ukrainians held as prisoners of war were reportedly killed in a missile strike Friday – an attack for which Russia and Ukraine blame each other. Separatist authorities and Russian officials said at least 53 people died and 75 injured in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic. The were captured after Mariupol prisoners fell in May.
“Russia has come with numerous terrorist attacks that it is the biggest source of terrorism in today’s world,” Zelenskyy said.
Contributing: The Associated Press