A Ukrainian attack targeting the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea damaged two ships and caused a major fire at a sprawling naval shipyard that plays a crucial role in Russia’s war effort, Russian and Ukrainian officials said.
The attack that occurred before dawn on Wednesday appeared to be the largest on the Russian Navy headquarters in the occupied coastal city of Sevastopol since Moscow launched its comprehensive invasion of Ukraine nearly 19 months ago, and highlighted Ukraine’s increasing ability to strike targets deep into Russian territory. controlled lands.
Russian Ministry of Defense He said in a statement Ukraine fired 10 cruise missiles at the facility at the same time it targeted a Russian warship in the Black Sea with three naval drones. The ministry said air defense systems shot down seven cruise missiles, and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov destroyed the drones.
Moscow’s rare acknowledgment of a successful Ukrainian attack in Crimea came only after local residents posted photos of explosions and burning fires at the Sevmurzavod shipyard on social media. Mikhail Razvozaev, the Russian-backed ruler of Crimea, later Image shared by This appeared to show the port side of a large landing craft in flames, although the full extent of the damage was not clear.
Mr. Razvozaev said at least 24 people were injured at the shipyard. Initial explosions and sounds of air defenses were first reported at around 2 a.m. local time.
It was not clear what weapons Ukraine deployed in the attack, but the commander of the Ukrainian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Mykola Oleshchuk, indicated the involvement of a long-range airstrike.
He added: “While the occupiers are still recovering from the night bombing of Sevastopol, I would like to thank the pilots of the Ukrainian Air Force for their excellent combat work.” he wrote in a statement. “He follows …”
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior advisor to the president Hint The attack was carried out using new weapons. He said in a statement that the only way to secure trade routes and grain shipments through the Black Sea was to build the capacity of the Ukrainian armed forces, “including expanding the scope of weapons.”
“We can already see the results of this” in Sevastopol, he wrote.
He did not clarify the type of weapons used. This summer, Ukraine acquired long-range weapons from Britain and France, and Kiev was also developing domestically produced long-range cruise missiles.
The attack damaged an improved Kilo-class attack submarine, Rostov-on-Don, and a Robocha-class landing ship, Minsk, according to Russian military bloggers and Russian news outlet BazaWithout mentioning the sources.
The reports could not be independently confirmed, but Russian officials said the attacks damaged two ships that were in dry dock. Satellite image taken by Planet Labs on Tuesday It shows a Ropucha-class ship and an obvious submarine in dry dock. Images from Planet Labs after the attack showed the ship and what appeared to be burn damage in the drydock, although the decision made the submarine difficult to detect.
The attack on Russia’s naval fleet comes just days after Ukraine announced that its forces had recaptured several oil and gas exploration platforms in the Black Sea, which has played a role in Russia’s ability to project power off the Ukrainian coast since Moscow seized them in 2015.
Russian forces have used the platforms, known as Boyko Towers, as forward deployment bases, installing radar installations, long-range missile systems, and a range of other equipment. Dmytro Pletinchuk, a Ukrainian navy spokesman, said expelling Russian forces from the platforms “allows us to keep them devoid of relevant information, making them unable to quickly react or plan anything within our waters.”
At the same time that the Russian port was attacked, the Ukrainian military said it shot down 32 out of 44 Iranian-made drones that were mainly targeting port and grain infrastructure in the Odessa region.
Oleh Kiper, head of the Odessa Military Administration, said that the ports on the Danube River on the border with Romania were targeted again, and that seven civilians were injured.
“We are dealing with the consequences,” he said in a statement. “Firefighters are working to contain the fire.”
Christian Tripert Contributed to reports.
“Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer.”