Russia accused Ukraine’s allies of collaborating in Friday’s attack on the headquarters in the Black Sea

In this satellite image provided by Planet Labs, smoke is seen billowing from the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, Crimea, on September 22, 2023, after a Ukrainian missile struck. (Planet Labs via AP)

Russia He was charged this Wednesday Western allies l Ukraine To help plan and carry out last week’s attack on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

“There is no doubt that the attack It was planned in advance using Western intelligence methodsRussian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in a press conference, “The attack was carried out with reconnaissance aircraft and NATO assets, and was carried out on the recommendation of the American and British security services and in close coordination with them.”

Moscow reiterated that the United States and its NATO allies are practically involved in the conflict by providing weapons and intelligence information to Ukraine, as well as helping to plan attacks on Russian facilities.

According to unconfirmed media reports, in the attack on the Russian Navy headquarters, Storm Shadow missiles supplied to Ukraine from the United Kingdom and France.

Ukraine attacked the Russian Navy headquarters in the Black Sea

He showed up A new video has emerged showing Fleet Commander Admiral Viktor Sokolov alive. Despite Ukraine’s claims – which provided no evidence – that it was among those countries 34 officers killed In the attack that occurred on Friday on the coastal city of Sevastopol.

Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been a frequent target since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine 20 months ago. The Crimean peninsula served as a crucial base for the invasion It has come under increasing attack from Ukraine.

Archive photo of Maria Zagarova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry (EFE/Sergei Ilnitsky)

Ukraine said the attack, which created a gaping hole in the main barracks building, injured 105 people, although it was not possible to independently verify that claim.

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Russia initially said a soldier had died, but quickly withdrew that statement and said the person was missing. Moscow did not provide further information about its losses.

Although it did not comment on Sokolov, the Defense Ministry released a video on Tuesday in which he appears at a conference with other senior officers and the defense minister. Sergey Shoigu. Sokolov does not speak in the clip.

Asked about Sokolov on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he participated in the meeting with Shoigu but made no further comments.

Russian state television on Wednesday showed Sokolov speaking to reporters in Sevastopol after presenting awards to the Black Sea Fleet’s football team. Sokolov was asked to say a few words about the events, apparently referring to the Ukrainian report that he was killed along with dozens of officers in the missile attack on the fleet headquarters.

Admiral Viktor Sokolov, commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, speaks to reporters during an interview at a military sports facility in Sevastopol, Crimea, in this still image taken from a video released on September 27, 2023 (Reuters)

“What happened to us?” “Nothing happened to us.”Sokolov answered. “Life goes on. The Black Sea Fleet confidently and successfully carries out the tasks assigned to it by the command. “Surface forces, submarine forces, naval aviation and shore forces successfully carry out the tasks.”

On Tuesday, Ukrainian Special Operations Forces said in a statement that, according to their sources, Sokolov was among those killed, and many of them have not yet been identified. He added that he is trying to verify the information.

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