The major fuel depot fire in Crimea is being attributed by Russia to a drone attack launched by Ukraine

A fuel storage facility in Sevastopol, Crimea was set on fire by a drone strike reportedly carried out by Ukraine on Saturday, resulting in a large column of black smoke. The governor of Sevastopol accused Ukraine of the attack, but claimed that the fire was put out before any major disaster occurred. According to a Ukrainian military intelligence official, more than 10 oil product tanks with a capacity of approximately 40,000 tonnes, intended for use by Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, were destroyed. This attack comes as Ukraine is preparing for a counter-offensive to push Russian forces back from the territory they invaded in February 2022. Ukraine insists that control of all its legal territory, including Crimea, is essential for any peace deal. In response, Moscow has accused Kyiv of launching aerial and seaborne drone attacks on Crimea. Ukrainian officials generally do not take responsibility for such attacks, but do celebrate them using euphemistic language. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed to hold those responsible for the attack on Uman accountable, and did not refer directly to the ongoing fighting for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

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