Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Killed In Crimea Strike, Ukraine Claims


The commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, was killed in a Ukrainian missile attack last week on Russia’s fleet headquarters in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, Ukraine’s Special Forces said Monday.

The Russian Defense Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied Ukraine’s allegations.

Friday’s attack had targeted a meeting of the Russian Navy’s leadership in the city of Sevastopol in Russian-annexed Crimea said the Ukrainian military.

“After the strike on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, 34 officers died, including the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Another 105 occupiers were wounded. The headquarters building cannot be restored,” the special forces said Monday on the Telegram messaging app.

Reuters could not confirm the numbers of the dead and wounded from the attack.

Russian-installed officials confirmed the Ukrainian attack on Friday, saying that at least one missile struck its fleet headquarters.

Kyiv has stepped up attacks in the Black Sea and Crimea as Ukrainian forces press on with a nearly four-month-old counteroffensive to take back Russian-occupied territory.

Russian combat drones and cruise missiles killed at least four people and destroyed buildings and infrastructure at the Black Sea port of Odesa, including grain storage facilities, Ukrainian officials said Monday.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said the latest attack was “a pathetic attempt” to retaliate for Ukraine’s missile attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Navy on Friday.

Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said on X social media platform that the attack destroyed grain storage facilities and inflicted significant damage to the seaport.

Almost 1,000 tons of grain were destroyed and the bodies of two men were found under the rubble of a warehouse where grain was stored, said the Odesa region governor, Oleh Kiper.

The grain storage facilities that were destroyed were hit by two supersonic missiles, reported Ukraine’s military.

Nineteen Iranian-made Shahed drones and 11 cruise missiles were shot down overnight, most of them directed at Odesa region, it said.

The Energy Ministry said the strikes damaged power grids, leaving more than 1,000 people in the Odesa region without power.

Missile debris was found in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistria region on Monday after Russian missile strikes hit Transnistria’s neighboring Odesa region, according to Oleg Beliakov, co-head of a special commission overseeing security arrangements in the breakaway region.

Beliakov said an explosion had been heard and part of an S-300 missile came down in a garden near a private house but did not explode and caused no damage.

Police, combat personnel and military observers were on the site in the village of Chitcani, about 35 km from the Ukrainian border.

“The warhead of the S-300 missile is lying in the garden. There are some elements with markings still on it, from which it was possible to establish that this was an S-300 missile of the 1968 model,” Beliakov told reporters.

It was not immediately clear who had fired the missile.

Russian officials said Monday the country’s air defenses shot down Ukrainian drones over two regions of Russia, as well as over the Black Sea and the Russia-occupied Crimean Peninsula. 

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Telegram that it intercepted two Ukrainian drones over the Kursk region, and two more over the Bryansk region. Both regions border Ukraine. There were no reports of casualties.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said it destroyed four drones over Crimea and the northwestern part of the Black Sea.

Ukraine aid

Kyiv will receive up to $522 million for reinforcing Ukraine’s energy system, the U.S. embassy in Ukraine said in a statement on Sunday.

The aid will help Ukraine restore critical infrastructure following Russian air attacks on power plants and transformers that left millions of people without electricity at times last winter.

Ukraine will receive $422 million in new energy assistance and a further $100 million will be subject to the implementation of certain measures including reforms, the embassy said.

The embassy announced the Memorandum of Understanding following a visit to the U.S. last week by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy described his visit to the U.S. and Canada last week as “very productive.” 

In his nightly video address on Sunday, Zelenskyy said Ukraine secured defense aid from both countries and called “historic” a decision by the U.S. to “jointly produce weapons and defense systems, in particular, air defense.”

The Ukrainian president said Ukraine’s collaboration with the U.S. will help create a much more powerful defense industry for his county and will bolster Ukraine’s economy.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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