(CNN) Ukraine’s Defense Ministry made the announcement late Monday A strike cleared Russian “Kalibre” cruise missiles were transported by train in the city of Zhankoy in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Ukrainian officials did not claim direct responsibility for the strike, but said it served to further “demilitarize Russia and de-occupy the Crimean peninsula.”
Sergei Askionov, the Russian-appointed head of the annexed peninsula, confirmed there was a strike and the region’s air defense system was activated. One person was injured and two buildings were damaged, Askionov said.
CNN geolocated amateur video shows a large explosion and resulting fireball. A man is heard on camera saying that the strike has hit the station. However, the video does not clearly show what was struck and CNN could not confirm the exact location of the strike.
Russia’s two most important military airfields in Crimea are located at Zhankoy and Kvardeyskoy, Britain’s Ministry of Defense reported in 2022.
“Zhankoy is a key road and rail junction that plays an important role in supplying Russia’s operations in southern Ukraine,” it said.
Crimea also has a major naval base and an important port for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol. Some of Russia Most important warships Including surface ships, docked there fitted With cruise missiles.
The United States has previously accused Russia of using cruise missiles in the Black Sea to attack civilian targets in Ukraine.
Annexation of Crimea
Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, have repeatedly vowed to liberate the peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014. Zelensky As emphasized earlier For Ukrainians, Crimea is “not just some territory” but “a part of our people, our society.”
The strike follows an attack by Russian President Vladimir Putin Visit to the Crimea Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of its merger. The visit, which also included a stop in Russian-occupied Mariupol, came days after the International Criminal Court indicted the Russian president for war crimes in Ukraine. Warrant issued He was arrested in connection with a plan to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
The ICC is the first formal charge against officials in Moscow since launching an unprovoked attack on Ukraine last year. The Kremlin is named The ICC’s actions were “excessive and unacceptable”.
The strike came as Putin hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow. when A meeting on Monday, Xi told Putin that China and Russia have “common goals” and expressed his support for Putin’s re-election. The war in Ukraine was raised in the first hour of their meeting and is expected to be a key topic of discussion throughout Xi’s three-day visit.