DEVELOPING STORYDEVELOPING STORY,
Russian-installed Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev says on Telegram that a huge blaze broke out in Sevastopol.
A huge fire has broken out in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol following a probable drone attack on a fuel storage tank, Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian-installed governor, wrote on Telegram.
“A fuel tank is on fire … According to preliminary reports, a drone attack might have caused the blaze,” he wrote early on Saturday, according to Russia’s TASS news agency.
He said an area of 1,000 square metres (almost 11,000 square feet) had been engulfed in flames.
Footage shared on social media and purporting to depict the blaze showed flames engulfing fuel storage tanks and a thick plume of black smoke rising over the city.
“The situation is under the control of our firefighters and all operative services,” Razvozhayev said, adding that no one was hurt. “Since the volume of fuel is large, it will take time to localise the fire.”
Ukraine has repeatedly declared its intention to retake the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014 to international outcry. The Ukrainian military did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday.
An oil depot is on fire in Sevastopol after being hit by a drone in the early morning. pic.twitter.com/ll8zY2v8a2
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) April 29, 2023
Razvozhayev reported on Monday that the Russian military had destroyed a Ukrainian surface sea drone that attempted to attack the harbour in the early hours and that a second drone had exploded. The explosions shattered windows in several apartment buildings but did not inflict any other damage, he said.
The attack was the most recent in a series of attempted strikes on Sevastopol, the main naval base for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. After previous attacks on Sevastopol and other areas, Ukrainian officials have stopped short of openly claiming responsibility but point out Ukraine’s right to strike any target in response to Russian aggression.
The fire in Sevastopol comes a day after a barrage of Russian missiles hit residential areas in Ukraine killing 25 people and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged allies to provide his troops with better air defences, including fighter jets.
“Air defence, a modern air force – without which effective air defence is impossible – artillery, armoured vehicles. Everything that is necessary to provide security to our cities, to our villages, both in the hinterland and on the front lines,” Zelenskyy listed in a video message on Friday night.
He condemned the attack in the city of Uman in the early hours of Friday that he said killed at least 23 people, including four children.
Ten residential buildings were hit by missiles in Uman, in the Cherkasy region, officials said. One block of flats was destroyed. Eighteen people were injured in the attack, nine of whom were being treated in hospital.
In the Dnipropetrovsk region, a woman and her two-year-old daughter were also killed by night-time Russian shelling.
“Russian evil can be stopped by weapons – our defenders are doing it. And it can be stopped by sanctions – global sanctions must be enhanced,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter earlier in the day.
The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, on Friday gave the total number of missiles fired at Ukraine during the night as 23. Of these, 21 were shot down, along with two drones. The Ukrainian military said cruise missiles were also fired near the capital, Kyiv, with air defences downing 11 of them.
Shelling in the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk killed seven people and injured 19, local authorities reported on Friday.