Missiles strike Crimean port of Sevastopol for second consecutive day

A woman walks past a patriotic mural in the Black Sea resort of Yalta in Crimea on July 24. The Crimean port Sevastopol, home of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, was struck by missiles for a second consecutive day on Saturday. File Photo by Stringer/EPA-EFE

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The Crimean city of Sevastopol, headquarters to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, was hit by rocket attacks for a second consecutive day on Saturday, its Russian-installed governor said.

Gov. Mikhail Razvozhaev reported on his Telegram channel that air defenses were activated and rocket debris fell near a pier outside the city at Sukharnaya Balka.

Ukraine did not immediately claim responsibility for Saturday's attack, but it follows by one day a large-scale strike on Sevastopol in which Ukrainian missiles killed one serviceman and damaged the headquarters of Black Sea Naval Fleet.

That attack marked a strategically and symbolically important event in Ukraine's pushback against Russian forces in Crimea, which Moscow unilaterally annexed in 2014, demonstrating its ability to strike Russian forces anywhere on the peninsula.

Ukrainian military officials released more details of the initial strike on Saturday, claiming it was timed to coincide with a meeting of Russian naval officials in Sevastopol, the BBC reported.

In a brief statement, Kyiv claimed the strike killed "dozens" of Russian occupiers, including "the top management of the fleet," while Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov told the Voice of America that two top Russian commanders were seriously injured in the missile strike.

He would not confirm reports that the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, was killed.

Military sources told the BBC that Ukraine used Storm Shadow missiles donated by Britain in the attack.