A drone attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet injured six people and ended a festival marking Navy Day in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, the mayor announced on Sunday.
“There were no fatalities, six people were injured, two in moderate condition, the rest are in stable condition,” Mayor Mikhail Razvozhaev said on social media.
The Black Sea Fleet’s press service said the drone appeared to be homemade and called the explosive device “low power”. Authorities in Crimea have raised the terror threat level for the region to “yellow”, the second highest level.
Sevastopol lies about 100 miles south of the Ukrainian mainland and has been under Russian control since 2014, when the Kremlin illegally annexed Crimea. Russian forces also control much of the continental coastal area along the Black Sea. There was no immediate information on the origin of the drone.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised to take Crimea back from Russia. His top aide said the drone strike was a reflection of Russia’s weak air defenses.
“Have the occupiers admitted the impotence of their air defense system? Or their impotence in the face of Crimean supporters?” Oleksiy Arestovich said on Telegram.
USA TODAY ON TELEGRAM: Join our Russia-Ukraine War Channel to receive updates
►Russian rockets hit a school in Kharkiv and a bus station in Sloviansk, among other strikes. In southern Ukraine, one person was reportedly killed and six injured in a shelling in a residential area of Mykolaiv, local officials said.
►Russia’s state-owned natural gas company said it had halted shipments to Latvia due to contract violations. Gas giant Gazprom said the shipments were halted because Latvia breached “gas extraction conditions”. The statement likely referred to a refusal to meet Russia’s demand for ruble gas payments.
Wealthy businessman killed in what Ukrainian official calls targeted attack
One of Ukraine’s richest men and his wife were killed in their Mykolaiv home by a Russian missile strike that a Ukrainian official said was carefully targeted.
Oleksiy Vadatursky, who ran a grain production and export business and had previously received the “Hero of Ukraine” award for his contributions to the country, died alongside his wife, Raisa, in an attack early Sunday morning, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said. .
Their killing comes just as Ukraine is set to resume grain exports under a UN-brokered deal with Russia with Turkey.
The southern port city of Mykolaiv came under heavy shelling overnight, but presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Vadatursky, 74, was specifically targeted. Vadatursky’s agro-industry Nibulon includes a fleet of ships for sending grain abroad.
It “was not an accident, but a well thought out and organized premeditated murder,” Podolyak said. “Vadatursky was one of the largest farmers in the country, a key person in the region and a major employer. The fact that the exact hit of a rocket was not only in a house, but in a specific wing, the chamber, leaves no doubt about aiming and adjusting the strike.
Zelensky declares mandatory evacuation from Donetsk region
As Russian forces and separatists attempt to take full control of the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials are calling on citizens to evacuate parts of the province under Ukrainian control. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced a mandatory evacuation and urged people to leave the area and persuade loved ones still there to leave, according to CNN and Reuters.
“The sooner it is done, the more people leave the Donetsk region now, the less the Russian military will have time to kill,” he said in his nightly video address on Saturday.
Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has warned that the region will face serious heating problems this winter due to the destruction of gas pipes and said people should evacuate before the cold weather sets in.
New Russian maritime policy targets US and NATO
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday signed a maritime doctrine that says US efforts to dominate the world’s oceans and growing NATO activity pose major threats to Russia’s security. The new policy, published on the Kremlin’s legal information web portal, cites the global influence of the United States on issues related to the use of transportation routes and energy resources.
The policy calls for the development of the Russian shipbuilding industry in the Far East, particularly for the construction of “large tonnage vessels” for use in the Arctic as well as advanced aircraft carriers for the navy.
The policy’s strategic goals include increasing the combat capabilities of the Russian Navy to protect Russia’s national security and national interests.
Low expectations for the UN conference on nuclear non-proliferation
Nuclear non-proliferation agreements are difficult at the best of times. Current conditions, with the Russian-led war in Ukraine and sometimes reigniting fears of a nuclear confrontation, are far from ideal.
That’s what awaits representatives of more than 110 countries as they gather from Monday at a major United Nations conference on the landmark nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The rally was due to take place in 2020, on the 50th anniversary of the treaty, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The four-week meeting aims to generate consensus on next steps, but expectations are low for substantial agreement – if at all.
“It’s a very, very difficult time,” said Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, referring to the assault and slashing nuclear weapons from Russia. “How governments react to the situation will shape future nuclear policy.”
Ukraine succeeds in repelling Russian forces
Ukrainian forces likely “successfully repelled small-scale Russian assaults” near Donetsk in the Donbass region, the UK Ministry of Defense said. In Kherson, the ministry said, Russian forces established pontoon bridges to “compensate for the fact that nearby bridges were damaged in recent strikes”.
A senior US defense official also said over the weekend that the Ukrainians had made progress in the Kherson region. “Not big giant advances, but they are certainly advances against the Russians,” the official told reporters. A senior military official present at the briefing added that Russian forces appeared to be “ill-prepared” for Ukraine’s counter-offensive there.
Ukraine condemns Russia for latest act of ‘terrorism’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for Russia to be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism, citing the “deliberate mass murder” of Ukrainian prisoners of war via bombings in the breakaway eastern region of Donetsk.
Dozens of Ukrainians held as prisoners of war were reportedly killed in a missile strike on Friday – an attack for which Russia and Ukraine blame each other. Separatist authorities and Russian officials said at least 53 people died and 75 injured in Olenivka, a settlement controlled by the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. The prisoners were taken after the fall of Mariupol in May.
“Russia has proven with numerous terrorist attacks that it is the biggest source of terrorism in the world today,” Zelenskyy said.
Contributor: The Associated Press