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Five Civilians Killed by Ukrainian Strike on Sevastopol Beach

State of the Union: Ukraine used an American missile system in the strike.

On Sunday, June 23, a Ukrainian missile strike killed five civilians, including two children, and wounded 151 on a beach near the major port of Sevastopol. The strike was conducted using an American-made ATACMS missile. 

In the aftermath of the attack, the Russian defense ministry released a statement blaming the United States for the attack, stating that “the responsibility for the deliberate missile strike against civilians in Sevastopol lies primarily in Washington, which supplied these weapons to Ukraine.” The statement added that “such actions will not go unpunished.”

Neither Ukraine nor the United States has released a statement on the attack, though the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry to answer questions over the attack. 

The attack resembles Ukrainian strikes on residential neighborhoods of Belgorod, including a recent episode in which a kamikaze drone killed a mother and infant in a car.

Currently, Sevastopol, the largest city in Crimea, is claimed by both Ukraine and Russia. Russia has controlled it since 2014. According to the most recent census information, Sevastopol is 90.11 percent ethnically Russian; prior to 2014, Russians comprised 58 percent of the Crimean population as a whole, and another 10 percent were Crimean Tatars.