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Residents in Annexed Crimea Turned Away From Bomb Shelter During Air Raid Alert

Children and adults were seen crowded outside the community center. Video grab

Residents in Russia-annexed Crimea were turned away from a bomb shelter during an air raid alert Monday evening, video shared on social media showed.

The woman who filmed the video, which was shared by the Baza news channel on Telegram, said several families were barred from entering the bomb shelter located inside a community center in the port city of Sevastopol.

Children and adults were seen crowded outside the building’s entrance as air sirens could be heard blaring in the distance.

In the video, a man who introduced himself as a fire safety officer said his superiors had told him that the bomb shelter was for “staff only.”

“You have [shelters] in your own homes,” the man was heard saying.

The community center's director accused the woman who filmed the video of causing a scandal after the air raid alert ended, according to Baza, which is believed to have links in Russia’s law enforcement agencies.

Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev publically expressed anger over the incident, saying “There can’t be ‘us’ and ‘them’ during an air raid in the city.”

“The incident that took place the day before ... is either outrageous idiocy or deliberate malice. We’ll deal with these things harshly,” he said.

Sevastopol’s culture department, which oversees the community center where the incident took place, said it was conducting an internal probe.

Russia’s air defense systems on Monday evening shot down a missile around the village of Belbek, where the Sevastopol International Airport hosts parts of Russia’s air defense and aviation units.

Sevastopol and Crimea have come under an increasing number of drone and missile strikes since Ukraine launched its counteroffensive early this summer. 

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