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Russia says 6 injured in Ukrainian explosive drone strike on Black Sea Fleet HQ

Russia says device appears homemade; Kyiv said to deny carrying out attack; incident leads to cancellation of Russia’s Navy Day celebrations in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula

A Russian sailor salutes on the bow of Missile Cruiser Moskva, left, as crew of Russian patrol ship Pitliviy, right, prepare to moor the vessel, in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)
A Russian sailor salutes on the bow of Missile Cruiser Moskva, left, as crew of Russian patrol ship Pitliviy, right, prepare to moor the vessel, in Sevastopol, Crimea, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, File)

MOSCOW — A drone-borne explosive device detonated Sunday at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, injuring six people, Russian officials said.

The explosion at the headquarters in the city of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 caused the cancellation of observances of Russia’s Navy Day holiday.

The Black Sea Fleet’s press service said the drone appeared to be homemade.

It described the explosive device as “low-power” but Sevastopol mayor Mikhail Razvozhaev said six people were injured in the blast.

There was no immediate information on where the drone began its flight.

The Ukrainian defense ministry has not commented on the report so far but unsourced reports indicate that Ukraine is denying carrying out the attack.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian and Russian officials blamed each other Saturday for the deaths of dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war in an attack on a prison in a separatist-controlled area.

The International Red Cross asked to visit the prison to make sure the scores of wounded POWs had proper treatment, but said its request had not been granted so far.

Russian forces kept launching attacks on several Ukrainian cities over the weekend, hitting a school and a bus station.

In this photo taken from video a view of a destroyed barrack at a prison in Olenivka, in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces, eastern Ukraine, July 29, 2022. (AP Photo)

The US ambassador to the United Nations said Friday there should no longer be any doubt that Russia intends to dismantle Ukraine “and dissolve it from the world map entirely.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the UN Security Council that the United States is seeing growing signs that Russia is laying the groundwork to attempt to annex all of the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, including by installing “illegitimate proxy officials in Russian-held areas, with the goal of holding sham referenda or decree to join Russia.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “has even stated that this is Russia’s war aim,” she said.

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador Dmitry Polyansky told the Security Council on Friday that “The de-Nazification and demilitarization of Ukraine will be carried out in full.”

“There must no longer be a threat from this stage to Donbas, nor to Russia, nor to the liberated Ukrainian territories where for the first time in several years people are finally able to feel that they can live the way they want,” he said.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report. 

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