RUSSIA + UKRAINE

Drone strike hits Crimean ammunition depot as strikes kill, wound civilians and journalists in Ukraine

Jul 22, 2023, 7:00 PM

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian drone strike Saturday caused a massive explosion at an ammunitio...

FILE - Workers load grain at a grain port in Izmail, Ukraine, on April 26, 2023. Russia has repeatedly fired missiles and drones at Ukrainian ports key to sending grain to the world. Moscow has declared large swaths of the Black Sea dangerous for shipping. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, File)

(AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, File)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian drone strike Saturday caused a massive explosion at an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea, forcing the evacuation of nearby homes in the latest attack since Moscow canceled a landmark grain deal amid Kyiv’s grinding efforts to retake its occupied territories.

The attack on the depot in central Crimea sent huge plumes of black smoke skyward and came five days after Ukraine struck a key bridge that links Russia to the peninsula it illegally annexed in 2014 and after Moscow suspended a wartime deal that allowed Ukraine to safely export its grain through the Black Sea.

Sergey Aksyonov, the Kremlin-appointed head of Crimea, said in a Telegram post that there were no immediate reports of casualties from the strike, but that authorities were evacuating civilians within a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius of the blast site.

The Ukrainian military took credit for the strike, saying it destroyed an oil depot and Russian military warehouses in Oktyabrske, in the Krasnohvardiiske region of Crimea, though without specifying which weapons it used.

A Crimean news channel posted videos Saturday showing plumes of smoke billowing above rooftops and fields near Oktyabrske, a small settlement next to an oil depot and a small military airport, as loud explosions rumbled in the background. In one video, a man can be heard saying the smoke and blast noises seemed to be coming from the direction of the airport.

The strike came during a week in which Ukraine attacked the Kerch Bridge and Russia, in what it described as “retribution” for the bridge attack, bombarded southern Ukrainian port cities, damaging critical infrastructure including grain and oil terminals.

Ukraine also attacked the bridge in October, when a truck bomb blew up two of its sections, which took months to repair. Moscow decried that assault as an act of terrorism and retaliated by bombarding Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, targeting the country’s power grid over the winter.

The Kerch Bridge is a conspicuous symbol of Moscow’s claims on Crimea and an essential land link to the peninsula. The $3.6 billion, 19-kilometer (nearly 12-mile) bridge is the longest in Europe and is crucial for Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine.

Speaking at the Aspen security forum via video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the bridge a legitimate target for Ukraine, noting that Russia has used it to ferry military supplies and it must be “neutralized.”

In a video address to the nation later Saturday, Zelenskyy said he had a phone call with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to discuss “our steps to unblock and ensure the stable operation of the grain corridor” following Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal.

Zelenskyy said they agreed to hold a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO Council in the nearest days for consultations on the issue. “We can overcome the security crisis in the Black Sea,” he said.

As fierce fighting continues in Ukraine’s bid to retake territory from Russia, Russian shelling killed at least two civilians and wounded four others on Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported. A 52-year-old woman died in Kupiansk, a town in the northeastern Kharkiv region, while another person was killed in a cross-border Russian attack on a village in the neighboring Sumy province.

Earlier Saturday, Ukrainian officials reported that Russian attacks on 11 regions across the country on Friday and overnight had killed at least eight civilians and wounded others.

A DW cameraman was injured Saturday by shrapnel from Russian cluster munitions that also killed one Ukrainian soldier and wounded several others near the town of Druzhkivka, in the eastern Donetsk region, the German broadcaster said in a statement. Cameraman Ievgen Shylko was part of a team sent to report from the Ukrainian army training ground about 23 kilometers (14 miles) away from the frontline, it said.

“We were filming the Ukrainian army during target practice when suddenly we heard several explosions,” DW correspondent Mathias Bölinger said. “We lay down, more explosions followed, we saw people were wounded. Later, the Ukrainian army confirmed that we had been fired at with cluster munitions.”

Cluster munitions, which open in the air and release multiple small bomblets, are banned by more than 100 countries because of their threat to civilians, but they have been used extensively by both sides in the war.

The Pentagon has said the cluster munitions the U.S. recently gave to Ukraine will give Kyiv critically needed ammunition to help bolster its counteroffensive.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that a group of Russian journalists came under artillery fire in the southern Zaporizhzhia region. In an online statement, it said four correspondents for pro-Kremlin media had been struck by cluster munitions and that one of them, Rostislav Zhuravlev of the state RIA Novosti news agency, later died from his injuries.

The Kremlin-installed head of the Russia-occupied parts of the Zaporizhzhia region, Yevhen Balitsky, claimed in a Telegram post that the journalists were traveling in a civilian vehicle that was hit by shelling. The claims couldn’t be independently verified.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the attack on journalists as a “heinous crime” in which the U.S. and its allies were complicit.

The Ukrainian air force on Saturday morning said that overnight, it had brought down 14 Russian drones, including five Iranian-made ones, over the country’s southeast, where battles are raging. In a regular social media update, the air force said that all Iranian-made Shahed exploding drones launched by Russian troops during the night were brought down, pointing to Ukraine’s increasing success rate in neutralizing them.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Russia + Ukraine

President Joe Biden speaks from the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Build...

CNN

Biden administration pauses ammunition shipment to Israel

The Biden administration paused a shipment of US-made ammunition to Israel, according to a source familiar with the matter.

2 months ago

A destroyed building in Ocheretyne village on the Adiivka frontline in eastern Ukraine last month....

Andrew Carey and Olga Voitovych, CNN

Russia makes tactical gains in eastern Ukraine, concerns raised over Ukrainian military reporting

Forces from Russia have made further gains in at least three locations along the eastern front in Ukraine.

2 months ago

tank fires at troops in ukraine, sen mike lee is trying to kill a foreign aid bill in the senate...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Utah Sen. Mike Lee rallying Senate to kill foreign aid bill for Ukraine, Israel

Sen. Mike Lee has repeatedly criticized efforts to send further military and economic aid to Ukraine.

2 months ago

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S, Oksana Markarova, speaking with different Utah leaders while visit...

BY ERIN COX KSLTV.com

Ambassador of Ukraine to U.S. meets with Utah state and church leaders

For the first time, Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, paid Utah a visit. It’s a connection that’s been years in the making.

2 months ago

Ukrainian family in Utah...

Amie Schaeffer

Ukrainian, now living in Utah reflects on 2 years of war

A family from Ukraine moved to Utah after the war began. Anton and his wife Valentyna are Ukrainian nationals who met while attending UVU.

3 months ago

Smoke rises above the burning Crocus City Hall concert venue following a reported shooting and blas...

By Mariya Knight, Anna Chernova and Darya Tarasova

ISIS claims responsibility for attack in busy Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 40 dead

ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert venue complex near Moscow Friday that left at least 40 dead and more than 100 wounded after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Drone strike hits Crimean ammunition depot as strikes kill, wound civilians and journalists in Ukraine