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Russians criticize Russian Defense Ministry for air defense operations in Crimea - ISW

Russians criticize Russian Defense Ministry for air defense operations in Crimea - ISW Illustrative photo (getty images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Russian military bloggers widely criticize the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian occupation authorities in Crimea for failing to prevent the June 23 attack on Sevastopol and properly protect civilians, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Russians criticize Russian authorities for not using air raid sirens to warn civilians of the danger.

Several Russian military bloggers have criticized their authorities for failing to detect and destroy all the missiles before they approached Sevastopol, and for failing to build shelters near the beach.

The images show that Russian troops have been deploying military equipment in civilian areas of Crimea since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Institute noted. In addition, the Russian authorities have irresponsibly encouraged Russian tourism to the occupied Crimea, while the Russian military continues to use the peninsula as a rear area.

"The Russian military likely purposefully stations legitimate military targets nearby civilian areas in Crimea in an effort to deter Ukrainian strikes," the report says.

The ISW reminded that Russian troops have previously been documented using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and schools in the occupied mainland of Ukraine to cover their military equipment.

The Institute's analysts concluded that Russia is likely to violate its own rules of international humanitarian law, according to which "the military command shall avoid deploying military objectives in densely populated areas or in their vicinity."

On June 23, powerful explosions were heard in several cities of the temporarily occupied Crimea. In particular, explosions were heard in the area of Sevastopol. The governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said that there was an attack and that air defense systems were working. Propaganda channels wrote that Crimea was attacked by ATACMS missiles.

Razvozhayev said that five air targets were "destroyed over the Black Sea" but that the wreckage fell in the coastal zone. As a result, several people were injured and two fires started.