Russia blames U.S. for ‘barbaric’ Ukrainian attack on Crimea, summons ambassador

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  • Source: NBC News
  • 06/24/2024
Russia summoned the U.S. ambassador and vowed retaliation Monday after blaming Washington for a deadly strike on a strategic port in occupied Crimea, claiming U.S.-supplied missiles were used in the attack.

The strike left at least four people dead and more than 150 injured in one of the biggest attacks on the Russian-annexed peninsula in recent months.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said four U.S.-provided Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) rockets, were intercepted over the city of Sevastopol, but fragments from the fifth rocket led to “numerous casualties among civilians” on the ground.

“All flight missions for the American ATACMS operational-tactical missiles are entered by American specialists based on U.S.’ own satellite reconnaissance data,” the ministry said in a statement. “Therefore, responsibility for the deliberate missile attack on civilians in Sevastopol lies primarily with Washington, which supplied these weapons to Ukraine, as well as the Kyiv regime, from whose territory this attack was launched.”

NBC News could not independently confirm what type of weapons were used in the attack. The U.S. has been providing Ukraine with military aid to defend against Russia’s invasion, which started in February 2022. The Biden administration recently gave Ukraine permission to use American weapons to strike inside Russia, two American officials told NBC News.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Russian foreign ministry said Monday it summoned U.S. ambassador Lynne Tracy over the attack to reiterate that Washington bears equal responsibility with Kyiv for "this atrocity,” and that there will be retaliation.

Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and considers it part of Russia, though it remains internationally recognized as Ukrainian territory.
“Such actions will not go unanswered,” the ministry added.

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