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regular-article-logo Saturday, 02 December 2023

Russia accuses Ukraine’s Western allies of helping attack its Black Sea Fleet headquarters

Unconfirmed news reports say Storm Shadow missiles provided to Ukraine by UK and France are used in the attack

AP/PTI Kyiv Published 28.09.23, 10:42 AM
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in St Petersburg.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in St Petersburg. File picture

Russia on Wednesday accused Ukraine’s western allies of helping plan and conduct last week’s missile strike on the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters on the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

“There is no doubt that the attack had been planned in advance using western intelligence means, Nato satellite assets and reconnaissance planes and was implemented upon the advice of American and British security agencies and in close coordination with them,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing.

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Moscow has repeatedly claimed that the US and its Nato allies have effectively become involved in the conflict by supplying weapons to Ukraine providing it with intelligence information and helping plan attacks on Russian facilities.

Unconfirmed news reports said Storm Shadow missiles provided to Ukraine by the UK and France were used in the attack on the headquarters.

The UK ministry of defence didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on Zakharova’s remarks or reports that Storm Shadow missiles were used in the strike.

The accusation came as a new video reported to show that the fleet’s commander, Admiral Viktor Sokolov, was still alive despite Ukraine’s claims — without providing supporting evidence — that he was among 34 officers killed in Friday’s strike on the port city of Sevastopol.

The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been a frequent target since Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Crimea has served as the key hub supporting the invasion and has come under fire by Ukraine.

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