The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Lynn Tracy, US Ambassador to Moscow on Monday, June 24 to protest the use of US-supplied weapons by Ukraine in Sunday’s attack on Sevastopol, when at least four died and more than 150 were injured.

Russia said that not only did Washington supply the weapons but also accused “US military specialists” of carrying out the “targeting” of the ATACMS missiles. That, Moscow says, makes the US guilty of “waging a hybrid war against Russia and has actually become a party to the conflict.”

Russia’s ministry online statement said, “The ambassador was told that such actions by Washington, aimed at encouraging [Ukraine’s] pro-Nazi authorities… by issuing permission to strike deep into Russian territory, would not go unpunished. Retaliatory measures will definitely follow.”

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In response to Moscow’s accusations the Pentagon spokesman, Major Charlie Dietz, said “Ukraine makes its own decisions about the choice of targets and conducts its own military operations,” according to Reuters.

According to media reports as many as five US ATACMS missiles were fired on Sevastopol on June 23. The Russian Ministry of Defense, claimed its air defense forces had intercepted four of the missiles while a fifth, armed with a cluster munition warhead exploded in the air. Fragments of the missile fell on to Uchkuevka beach, crowded with holiday makers, killing four people, and injuring more than 150 people. Some residents claim there had been no air raid warning in the city at the time of the incident.

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The Hungarian PM relayed messages from Beijing and Moscow, suggesting that the EU “launch a European initiative” peace settlement in Ukraine without US participation.

The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says that Russian troops have been purposely deploying military equipment, that are legitimate targets for attack, in civilian areas of Crimea since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in order to deter attacks by the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU).

The Moscow-appointed “authorities” of Crimea, in turn, reported that tourists on the peninsula are not in danger, and the situation in the region is “quite safe.”

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The Russian news site RIA Novosti reported that the Kremlin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the peace proposals put forward by President Vladimir Putin on June 14 were unaffected by the incident.

Putin himself doubled down on that earlier statement on Tuesday, June 25. A message sent on his behalf to the 10th International Scientific Expert Forum “Primakov Readings,” said “… the forum participants will approach its [ his peace proposals] consideration thoughtfully and rationally will be able to see that it really provides for the possibility of stopping the conflict and moving on to its political and diplomatic settlement.”

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