Russia summons US envoy over civilian deaths in Crimea attack

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador to Moscow after Ukraine used American-supplied ATACMS missiles in an attack on the Crimean peninsula, resulting in numerous civilian casualties.

In a statement on Monday, the ministry said Ambassador Lynne Tracy had been presented with a demarche in connection with what it called “a new bloody crime of the Kiev regime patronized and armed by Washington”, referring to the Ukrainian shelling of Sevastopol the day before.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Ukrainian attack occurred around noon local time on Sunday, involving five ATACMS missiles armed with cluster munitions, which are outlawed in more than 100 countries. Officials said four rockets had been destroyed in mid-air, while a fifth was damaged by air defenses, veered off course, and detonated over Sevastopol. Local authorities say the strike killed four people, including two children, and injured more than 150.

In conversation with Tracy, Russian officials emphasized that the United States was “waging a hybrid war against Russia”, and had become party to the Ukraine conflict by supplying Kiev with modern weapons, including ATACMS missiles with cluster munitions. The ministry also noted that American military specialists were actively engaged in designing the flight mission for ATACMS, which means they “bear the same responsibility for this atrocity as the Kiev regime.”

The ministry added that Tracy had been told that the US was “encouraging the pro-Nazi Ukrainian authorities to continue hostilities until the ‘last Ukrainian’” by approving strikes deep inside Russian territory. These actions by Washington “will not go unpunished,” Moscow warned.

Commenting on potential retaliation on Monday, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov recalled what he described as a “very important” statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he stated Moscow could send its long-range weapons to regions where they could be used to attack countries that provide Ukraine with military support.

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