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Moscow summons US ambassador over civilian deaths in Sevastopol attack

The Ukrainian strike on the peninsula using US-made missiles killed at least four people and injured more than 150

The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned the US ambassador to Moscow after Ukraine used American-supplied ATACMS missiles in an attack on the Crimean peninsula, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry said Ambassador Lynne Tracy had been presented with a demarche in connection with what it called “a new bloody crime of the Kiev regime patronized and armed by Washington,” referring to the Ukrainian shelling of Sevastopol the day before.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian attack occurred around noon local time on Sunday, involving five ATACMS missiles armed with cluster munitions, which are outlawed in more than 100 countries. Officials said four rockets had been destroyed in mid-air, while a fifth was damaged by air defenses, veered off course, and detonated over Sevastopol. Local authorities say the strike killed four people, including two children, and injured more than 150.

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A view shows bloodied sun loungers following a Ukrainian missile attack amid Russia's military operation in Ukraine, in Sevastopol, Republic of Crimea, Russia.
Ukraine’s deadly attack on Sevastopol: As it happened

In conversation with Tracy, Russian officials emphasized that the United States was “waging a hybrid war against Russia,” and had become party to the Ukraine conflict by supplying Kiev with modern weapons, including ATACMS missiles with cluster munitions. The ministry also noted that American military specialists were actively engaged in designing the flight mission for ATACMS, which means they “bear the same responsibility for this atrocity as the Kiev regime.”

The ministry added that Tracy had been told that the US was “encouraging the pro-Nazi Ukrainian authorities to continue hostilities until the ‘last Ukrainian’” by approving strikes deep inside Russian territory. These actions by Washington “will not go unpunished,” Moscow warned.

The US Embassy in Moscow has yet to comment. When asked for its take on the deadly Ukrainian strike, the Pentagon replied that “we have seen the reports and have nothing to say.”

Commenting on potential retaliation on Monday, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov recalled what he described as a “very important” statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he said Moscow could send its long-range weapons to regions where they could be used to attack countries that provide Ukraine with military support.

June 24, 2024 at 03:15PM

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