Ukraine Claims Killing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet Commander And 33 Officers In Crimean Attack

Ukraine has been claiming that it killed Viktor Sokolov, the Russian commander of the Black Sea fleet, besides 33 officers, in one of Kyiv’s boldest attacks on the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine’s military reported that Friday’s attack on the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea fleet based in Sevastopol had been well-timed to coincide with a meeting of the naval officials.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
Representation Image

Following the strike on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, 34 officers, including the commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, lost their lives. About 105 occupiers were severely wounded. Also, per the Special Forces, the headquarters building can’t be restored.

Russia’s defence ministry has not commented on the Ukrainian claim so far. Moscow earlier confirmed Ukraine’s attack but mentioned that a serviceman had been missing due to the attack.

The Guardian couldn’t also confirm Ukraine’s claims on Sokolov or the casualties. It was not immediately clear how the Ukrainian military could count the dead and wounded individuals in that attack.

Many close relatives of Sokolov also refused to reply to requests for comments.

During the weekend, the intelligence head of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov, reported to Voice of America that at least nine were dead and 16 were wounded after Friday’s strike. Budanov didn’t mention Sokolov, yet claimed that Alexander Romanchuk, Russia’s general commanding forces along the key south-eastern frontline, was in a dire condition post the attack.

Both sides have been exaggerating enemy losses since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine exactly 19 months back while staying quiet regarding their casualties.

Given Sokolov’s seniority, it is not likely that Moscow would conceal his death for a long time.

Sokolov was reportedly appointed as the commander of the Crimea-Black Sea fleet in 2022 (August) to shore up the defences of Crimea after it was hit by Ukrainian explosions last summer.

He earlier held posts in the Northern and Pacific Fleets, serving as the deputy commander for the latter.

Pro-war bloggers in Russia on Monday urged the country’s defence ministry to make comments on Ukrainian claims.

Over the recent weeks, Ukraine has rapidly enhanced the striking pace on Crimea as it seeks to inflict symbolic and strategic blows against the troops of Russia that unlawfully annexed this peninsula back in 2014.

Over the weekend, Ukraine’s media posted footage of the attack on Friday, reflecting how Britain-provided Storm Shadow missiles were aggressively hitting the roof of the naval headquarters based in Sevastopol.


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