Ukraine says it has hit two Russian naval ships in a major attack on Crimea



CNN

In a major overnight attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol, Ukraine says it hit two Russian navy ships with a communications center and other facilities belonging to the Black Sea Navy.

There was no comment from Russian security officials, although Russian politician and Sevastopol governor Mikhail Razvodayev admitted on his Telegram channel that it was “the biggest attack in recent times”.

A video posted on a local Telegram channel shows a series of large explosions in the city, sending fireballs and thick black smoke into the air. Another fireball is visible in the distance.

Ukraine said two amphibious landing ships, Yamal and Azov, were hit. The extent of the damage was not immediately known.

Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk praised the attacks and wrote on social media, “The sky and the sea are the same color! Thanks to the pilots and sailors for a successful combat mission! Crimea is ours! Win together! ”

Rasvozayev, who did not specify which military bases were attacked, said one person was killed in the attack. He said sea and land transport in the city was “partially damaged”.

Elsewhere in Crimea, Russian military bloggers say Ukrainian forces have targeted bases in the west and the heart of the illegally annexed peninsula, including Hvardiiske, north of Crimea's administrative center of Simferopol. Users who posted the video to a local Telegram channel suggested that an oil depot there had been attacked.

CNN could not immediately verify the latest claims on either side.

While Moscow appears clearly to have the upper hand in its ground campaign, Kevin's forces have enjoyed consistent success, whether targeting Russia's Black Sea fleet with missile strikes or maritime drone strikes.

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More than 20 Russian Navy ships have now been disabled or destroyed, about a third of the entire fleet. Although Ukraine does not have its own navy, Technological innovation, Russian audacity and ineptitude have given it the upper hand in much of the Black Sea. In October last year, satellite images indicated that Russia had moved some of its naval vessels from Sevastopol after the Ukrainian attacks.

If Sunday's strikes on Yamal and Azov are confirmed, it will mean Russia has only three operational landing craft left in the Black Sea. Ukraine says Moscow launched a full-scale invasion with 13 such ships.

In September, a Ukrainian missile attack also destroyed the naval headquarters in Sevastopol.

For Ukraine, the impact is not only military, but also economic, as it helps secure a shipping corridor from Odessa and other ports to the Bosphorus Strait, allowing Ukraine to sell grain and other goods on world markets.

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