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Message Attacks by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Sevastopol are an “act of terrorism”

This thesis was widespread in propaganda media. Reports stated that on the night of September 13, 2023, a series of explosions were heard in temporarily occupied Sevastopol. Three fire epicenters were recorded. Subsequently, it turned out that soldiers of the Special Operations Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces carried out an attack on the city and, as a result, destroyed a Russian landing ship, as well as a submarine. Ukrainian intelligence reported that the vessels most likely will not be able to be restored. Pro-Kremlin telegram channels called such an attack “terrorist” on the part of Ukraine. They say that the attack was allegedly directed at civilians, and the Ukrainian army is only hiding behind the destruction of ships.

Analysts of the StopFake project analyzed this propaganda thesis and explained that Ukraine does not violate any norms of international law because it attacks military targets, with the help of which Russia commits war crimes against Ukrainians. Actually, terrorism is deliberate and targeted attacks by Russia on peaceful Ukrainian cities. The fact-checkers explained that by carrying out attacks on territories temporarily occupied by Russia, Ukraine is only defending itself. Such acts comply with the norms of international law.

The same ships were used by the occupiers to kill Ukrainians and destroy Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. According to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense, Ukraine legally attacks Russian military targets in occupied Crimea. That is, Ukraine is defending itself from a terrorist country, and this is not about a terrorist act.

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