Ukrainian Missiles Shot Down Over Crimea Beach Kill Four

Kremlin officials accused the United States of being responsible for the June 23 Ukrainian rocket attack on the Crimean peninsula in which a US-supplied rocket detonated over a beach, killing at least four people and injuring more than 150.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, while four ATACSM rockets (Army Tactical Missile System) were intercepted by Russian forces, fragments from a fifth rocket that detonated mid-air caused “numerous” civilian casualties on the ground.

The defense ministry said in a statement that the rockets were fired based on data supplied by US spy satellites and the responsibility for the attack on civilians “lies primarily with Washington,” for supplying the weapons and Kyiv, “from whose territory this attack was launched.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Lynne Tracy on Monday, June 24, to warn that Russia would retaliate for the deadly strike in the port city of Sevastopol. The foreign ministry told Ambassador Tracy that Washington was equally responsible for “this atrocity” along with Ukraine.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described the strike as “an act of terrorism” and called on the United Nations to condemn the attack.

According to the Russian-installed Crimean government, the fragments from the rocket fell near a beach north of Sevastopol that was full of locals celebrating the Orthodox Christian holiday of Holy Trinity.

Sevastopol’s Russian-installed governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev said two of the dead and 27 of the wounded were children. Of the 151 civilians injured, more than 80 civilians were hospitalized, Razvozhaev said.

Russian officials said specialists were being flown to Crimea from Russia to care for the wounded.

Governor Razvozhaev, who declared Monday, June 24 a day of mourning, said he had visited the injured civilians in the hospital and revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin contacted him immediately after the strike to express his condolences to the families of those killed.

Russian officials launched a criminal investigation into the strike.

Earlier this year, the US began supplying Ukraine with ATACMS rockets, which have a range of over 180 miles.