Putin’s navy flees Ukrainian port in panic after Storm Shadow missile attack

Massive explosion at Russian-occupied port of Berdiansk

A warehouse in Berdyansk was reportedly hit by British-made cruise missiles fired by Ukraine’s military. Located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, the city has a commercial port and is located in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine. The Kremlin has been using the port to ship Ukrainian grain and metal to destinations in both Russia and around the world.

The region was formally annexed by Russia last year, although Putin’s forces have still failed to exert total control over it.

The missile strike forced a number of Russian ships to flee the port, according to the city’s military administration.

Video clips circulating on social media purportedly show the aftermath of the attack.

In one image, a thick plume of black smoke can be seen rising from the port area.

Ivan Fedorov, the Ukrainian Mayor of Melitopol, commented on the attack in a post to his Telegram channel.

He wrote: “It’s loud in temporarily occupied Berdyansk.

“‘Сotton’ bloomed in the port through which Russians exported the loot.

“The explosions were heard all over the suburbs.”

The term “cotton” is an ironic reference to Russian media descriptions of explosions in Ukraine.

When Russian media report on attacks carried out by Ukraine’s military, they often use the word “bang” instead of “explosion,” presumably to play them down.

A “bang” in Russian is spelt the same way as cotton (“bavovna”) is in Ukrainian.

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Nine people were confirmed injured as a result of the attack. However, as yet no fatalities have been reported

The attack is believed to have involved the use of British made cruise missiles.

The Russian military blogger “Rybar” wrote on his Telegram channel: “According to preliminary information, three to six Storm Shadow missiles hit the city.

“Judging by the footage that appeared on the network, a rocket or its fragments fell on a construction site on the port territory, 150 meters from the Grain Terminal of the Berdyansk Sea Port.”

The Storm Shadow missile has a range of 155 miles, allowing Ukraine’s army to target military bases and logistical centres deep behind Russian lines.

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In a statement to the House of Commons, the UK’s Defence Minister, Ben Wallace, said the weapons would give Kyiv the “best chance” of defending itself.

He said the UK took the decision to supply Kyiv with the missiles, after Russia “continued down a dark path” of targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Yesterday’s attack appears to be only the second time that the port has suffered a direct hit.

The first was on March 24, 2022, when a Ukrainian ballistic missile and/or drone struck the port’s oil depot.

The attack led to the sinking of the “Saratov” in the harbour – an Alligator-Class amphibious landing ship.

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