Six people were wounded after an explosive device carried by an apparent homemade drone blew up at the headquarters of Russia‘s Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula on Sunday (July 31), which resulted in the cancellation of ceremonies honoring the Russian Navy, authorities confirmed via the Associated Press.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the explosion, however, speculation rose that it could have been the work of Ukrainian insurgents attempting to drive Russian forces out of the city of Sevastopol.
Olga Kovitidi, a Russian lawmaker from Crime, told the state news agency RIA-Novosti that the drone was launched from Sevastopol and that the explosion is being treated by authorities as a terrorist act, according to the AP
Crimean authorities raised the terrorist threat level to “yellow,” which is the second-highest tier, after the incident took place.
The Black Sea’s press service described the explosive as “low-power” and said the drone carrying it appeared to be a homemade device.
The explosion resulted in six people being wounded during what was scheduled to be observances of Russia’s Navy Day holiday, which were canceled throughout the city following the incident.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
A Ukraine interior minister confirmed to NBC News via text message that “cruise and ballistic missile strikes” were already underway shortly after Putin’s announcement.
More than 1,000 protesters were reportedly arrested during anti-war protests throughout Russia amid President Putin’s announcement to conduct military operations and ensuing attack on Ukraine, BNO News reported.