Ukrainian strike on Russia's Black Sea fleet kills nine and wounds two generals, Kyiv says

Attack was reportedly carried out with Storm Shadow missiles supplied by UK and France

A satellite image shows smoke rising from Russia's Black Sea Navy headquarters in Sevastopol after a Ukrainian missile strike. Reuters
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Ukraine has said a missile strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet has killed nine people and wounded 16, including two generals.

Kyiv's head of military intelligence announced the toll after the attack, which Ukrainian sources say was carried out using Storm Shadow missiles, supplied by the UK and France.

Experts said the attack showed Kyiv was carrying out attacks on Russia's military leadership.

Video posted on social media showed clouds of white smoke billowing from the roof of the building, with other footage appearing to show the moment the missile hit.

Ukraine said it “successfully struck the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea fleet command in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol”.

Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine, told the Voice of America network that two senior officers were “among the wounded”.

Col Gen Alexander Romanchuk is in a “very serious condition” and Lt Gen Oleg Tsekov is “unconscious”, Mr Budanov said.

Col Gen Romanchuk is commander of Russian troops on the Zaporizhzhia front and Lt Gen Tsekov leads a unit of the Coastal Forces in the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet, VOA reported.

Rob Lee, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Russia’s senior military leaders appeared to be the targets of Ukrainian attacks.

“This suggests that it wasn’t just a strike on the Black Sea Fleet HQ, but timed to target key senior leaders during a meeting,” he said.

Russia's Defence Ministry said a serviceman was missing after the attack, revising its earlier statement that the man was killed.

Russian air defences shot down five missiles, the ministry said.

The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said emergency services brought a fire in the building under control.

“An equally important stage of work is now actively under way – the pouring of water on sections of the building and dismantling damaged structures,” he wrote on Telegram.

Mr Razvozhayev said some nearby roads would remain closed during this work.

He said earlier that there were no civilian casualties or damage to civilian infrastructure in the missile strike.

Kyiv has recently intensified its attacks in the Black Sea and Crimea, which was seized and annexed by Russia in 2014, as Ukrainian troops press on with a counter-offensive to regain occupied territory.

Ukrainian officials have described attacks on military targets in Russian-held territory as legitimate.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's Security Council, said there were two options for the future of the Russia's Black Sea fleet – voluntary or forced “self-neutralisation”.

Updated: September 23, 2023, 12:58 PM