‘Russian commanders killed’ after Ukraine strikes Russia’s Black Sea fleet HQ in Crimea

Several Russian commanders were killed or badly in Ukraine’s attack on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet HQ in Crimea, Kyiv has claimed.

In a short statement Lt Gen Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said yesterday’s (22 September) attack was timed to coincide with a meeting of senior military leaders.

Lt Budanov alleged at least nine Russian soldiers or sailors had been killed and 16 injured.

He alleged Col Gen Alexander Romanchuk, the general leading Russia’s forces in southern Ukraine, and Lt Gen Oleg Tsekov, commander of ground forces, are in serious condition.

He said: “The number of injured regular servicemen who are not employees of the headquarters is still being determined. These are military personnel who are on duty, security, and so on.”

i has not been able to verify the claims made by Ukraine.

It is understood that Ukraine used Storm Shadow missiles to strike the building – weapons the UK began supplying Kyiv with in May.

Following the attack in the port city of Sevastopol, smoke was seen billowing out of the naval base’s main building.

The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said the strike caused a fire, and urged people to avoid the city centre, where the navy building is located.

Ukraine’s military confirmed it was behind the attack in a statement, saying: “On 22 September close to 12:00 (0900 GMT) Ukraine’s defence forces successfully struck the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea fleet command in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol.”

Storm Shadow missiles, which are supplied by the UK and France to Ukraine, have a range in excess of 150 miles – three times further than the US-supplied Himars missiles Kyiv previously used.

The attack came a day after at least five people were killed after Russian missiles and artillery pounded cities across Ukraine.

On the same day, the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky met with his US counterpart Joe Biden and congressional leaders in Washington, to discuss an additional $24bn aid package being given to Ukraine.