A devastating Ukrainian missile attack struck the headquarters of Russia‘s Black Sea Fleet today.
The Sevastopol HQ building is understood to have been hit with a Storm Shadow missile, the type supplied by Britain and France capable of holding a warhead of nearly 1000 lbs.
Russia’s defence ministry has claimed that one person is missing, after initially claiming they had died in the strike. Initial reports suggested that six people had been wounded.
Dozens of ambulances were reported at the headquarters in Sevastopol, the naval port in occupied Crimea.
The HQ building was on fire, had partially collapsed and suffered ‘severe damage’, according to one report.
Debris from the missile attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet was scattered over hundreds of metres.
The explosion is understood to have been caused by a Storm Shadow missile
Video footage shows the building being destroyed
Smoke was seen pouring out of the building in Sevastapol
A top Russian official has admitted that the fleet’s HQ suffered a missile attack
Parts of the building were seen on fire shortly after the attack
The top of the Black Fleet headquarters’ building was damaged heavily during the attack
Russia’s defence ministry claimed that five other missiles were shot down, but one made it through its defences.
‘According to preliminary information, people who were on the street at the time of the attack on the Black Sea Fleet headquarters were not injured,’ said Putin appointed Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhayev.
A fire continued to burn at the headquarters building, admitted the governor.
Police cordoned off two blocks around the missile-hit building.
‘The enemies launched a missile attack on the fleet headquarters,’ said Razvozhayev.
He warned of the risk of a second attack and urged locals to stay away from the city.
‘A fragment [of a missile] fell close to the Lunacharsky Theatre. All emergency services arrived at the scene.
Russian officials warned the occupied city that another imminent attack may be possible
At least six people are believed to be wounded following the attack
The strike was one of the most significant of the entire war, as was the sinking of the Black Sea fleet’s flagship, the Moskva cruiser, last year
‘Information about the victims is being clarified. Please remain calm. And do not post photos and videos.’
The occupation official said: ‘Another attack is possible. Please do not travel to the city centre. Don’t leave buildings.
‘At the sound of the siren, everyone who is near the fleet headquarters should proceed to shelters.
‘Employees of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations are working on the spot.
‘Firefighters are taking all measures to put out the fire as quickly as possible. The build-up of forces and means continues.’
Putin did not mention the destruction of the Sevastopol HQ in a meeting with his military chiefs
Prominent Russian pro-war blogger Vladimir Rogov said: ‘The headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol was attacked by Ukrainian missiles.’
He said the attack was carried out ‘by British Storm Shadow missiles’, though this was not immediately confirmed.
The strike was one of the most significant of the entire war, as was the sinking of the Black Sea fleet’s flagship, the Moskva cruiser, last year.
The Black Sea Fleet has been responsible for multiple missile attacks on Ukraine, and is central to Putin’s subjugation of around one-fifth of Ukrainian territory.
Other explosions hit elsewhere in Crimea including around peninsula capital Simferopol.
Ukraine has previously used Storm Shadow and Neptune missiles to target Crimea as well as kamikaze drones.
Drones were downed today in Sevastopol harbour.
The attack came as Vladimir Putin held a meeting of his security council on relations with neighbouring countries.
He was heard skirting around the attack, only mentioning ongoing developments with ‘relations with our closest neighbours and partners.’