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Smoke and flames rise from a burning fuel tank in Crimea. Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvozhaev
War in Ukraine

Drone strike at Crimea fuel depot while five Russian villages without power after shelling

The fire is reported to have broken out on at a fuel depot in Sevastopol, the main port in Moscow-annexed Crimea.

LAST UPDATE | 29 Apr 2023

A LARGE FIRE is reported to have broken out on at a fuel depot in Sevastopol, the main port in Moscow-annexed Crimea, with authorities saying it was the result of a drone attack.

It comes as five Russian villages on the border with Ukraine were left without power as a result of Ukrainian shelling, the governor of Russia’s south-western Belgorod region that borders Ukraine said today. 

Sevastopol is home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and has been hit by a series of drone attacks since the Kremlin’s Ukraine offensive launched last year.

“A fuel reserve is on fire in the Kazachya Bay district” of the city, the Moscow-installed governor of the peninsula Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram in the early hours of Saturday.

“According to preliminary information, it was caused by a drone strike.”

He said the fire’s size was “around 1,000 square metres” and published images of huge clouds of smoke rising into the air.

Razvozhayev called on Crimeans to “remain calm” and in a later post said “nobody was hurt.”

He said authorities had “the situation under control” and said there was no threat to civilian infrastructure.

Earlier this week, Russia said it had “repelled” a drone attack on the port.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. 

Bombardment in Kherson

Russian occupational authorities in southern Ukraine said today that Ukrainian forces were subjecting the city of Novaya Kakhovka to “intense artillery fire” that had cut off electricity.

Novaya Kakhovka is in the part of the southern Kherson region that Russia controls. It lies upstream the Dnipro River from Kherson, the regional capital from which Russia withdrew last November.

“Novaya Kakhovka and settlements around the district are under very intense artillery fire from the armed forces of Ukraine,” the city’s Russian-installed authorities said on Telegram.

It added that the artillery fire left the city “without power.”

The Moscow-installed authorities urged people in the city “to keep calm” and said that work to restore power will start “after the shelling ends.”

Novaya Kakhovka fell to Russian forces on the first day of their offensive in Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

It is home to the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam, a strategic target capture in the first hours of Moscow’s offensive. 

Shelling in Belgorad

Elsewhere, the Belgorad region has been hit by attacks throughout Moscow’s more than year-long offensive in Ukraine.

“The village of Novaya Tavolzhanka came under Ukrainian shelling today,” Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Telegram.

“The power lines are damaged”, he said, adding that residents in the village and four others nearby were “without electricity.”

Gladkov said that “according to preliminary information, there are no victims.”

He said a new uninhabited house had been struck and some other houses damaged.

Gladkov said authorities were working to restore power to the villages. 

On Friday, a Russian strike on a bloc of flats in the central Ukrainian city of Uman killed 23 people, including a baby boy.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his evening address today, said six children had been killed in the attack – the previous figure given by the authorities had been five.

“We will do everything possible to ensure that the terrorist state is held accountable for its actions as soon as possible,” he added.

“Anyone who prepares such rocket attacks cannot but know that they will become an accomplice to murder,” said Zelenskyy.

The Ukraine leader said that next week would be important in terms of “our struggle for justice”.

He stressed that Kyiv was preparing “several important, powerful steps to consolidate our partners and give more energy to the creation of a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression. And to accelerate the defeat of the terrorist state”.

 – © AFP 2023

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