Ukraine launches another missile attack in Crimea amid counteroffensive

Ukraine launched a second missile attack on the Crimean city of Sevastopol early Saturday amid the country’s counteroffensive against Russian occupation in the region.

Two missile strikes were intercepted in the air and debris damaged a pier and a park in the city, Gov. Mikhail Razvozhayev said on Telegram. The attack comes a day after the Ukrainian military destroyed the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the city.

Ukrainian intelligence said that nine Russian military personnel were killed and 16 wounded by the headquarters strike, including the officer in charge of defending against Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the Zaporizhia region.

That officer, Col. Alexander Romanchuk, is in “very serious condition,” the intelligence official told Voice of America. Russian sources said the strike initially killed one person, but later amended the claim to say that he was missing.

Twelve total cruise missiles struck the headquarters on Friday, the Ukrainian military said, claiming that the missiles destroyed two anti-aircraft missile systems and four Russian artillery units.

The Ukrainian counteroffensive in the southeast has made slow progress, U.S. officials said, though that has disappointed some western allies.

Ukrainian President Volydymyr Zenelsky said Thursday that the military will fight through the winter, continuing the year-and-a-half effort to expel the Russian invasion.

President Biden is expected to announce that the U.S. will send long-range cluster missiles to Ukraine, a long-sought-after munition that defense analysts believe would improve the counteroffeinsive’s likelihood of success.

Biden and Zelensky met in Washington this week, where the Ukrainian president used the opportunity to pressure Republicans, who have wavered in support for the war effort in recent months.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $1 billion in aid for Ukraine during a surprise visit to the country earlier this month.

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