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Russia Holds The US Responsible For The Deaths In Crimea And Promises To Retaliate

Russia Holds The US Responsible For The Deaths In Crimea And Promises To Retaliate

Russia has blamed the US and vowed “consequences” for a Ukrainian missile strike on Sevastopol in occupied Crimea on Sunday, which officials say killed four people, including two children.

Around 150 others were injured when missile debris fell on a nearby beach. Russia’s defense ministry stated that Ukraine used US-supplied ATACMS missiles, allegedly programmed by US specialists.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov labeled the strike “barbaric” and accused the US of “killing Russian children.” He referenced President Vladimir Putin’s recent vow to target countries supplying weapons to Ukraine. Russia claimed the deaths and injuries resulted from falling debris after its air defenses intercepted five missiles with cluster warheads launched by Ukraine.

Read more: Ukraine Has Reported The Destruction Of A Russian Drone Base

Footage on Russian state TV showed chaos on the beach in Uchkuyevka, with people fleeing and injured individuals being carried away on sun loungers. The Russian defense ministry asserted that ATACMS missiles are controlled by US specialists and guided by American satellites.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated this during a meeting in Minsk, claiming the system requires direct US military involvement, including satellite capabilities.

The US has supplied ATACMS missiles to Ukraine for over a year, allowing strikes up to 300km away, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, is not recognized as Russian territory by most countries, thus not falling under US demands that Ukraine avoid using American-supplied weapons on Russian soil.

A White House National Security Council spokesperson stated that Ukraine makes its own targeting decisions. However, Peskov warned that US involvement resulting in Russian civilian deaths would have consequences.

The Russian foreign ministry summoned US Ambassador Lynne Tracy, with Lavrov asserting US involvement in the attack. Moscow has repeatedly threatened to target weapon-supplying countries, with Putin hinting at asymmetric responses. Ukrainian officials defended the strike, calling Crimea a legitimate target.