Ukraine struck Russian naval vessels located near the Crimean city of Sevastopol in what as described as the “biggest attack” on the city that hosts the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
“We confirm a large landing vessel and submarine were hit. We do not comment on the means (used) for the strike,” Ukrainian military intelligence official Andriy Yusov told Reuters after the attack, which took place early Wednesday.
The attack on the fleet was confirmed by Russia, which said Ukrainian forces used 10 cruise missiles and sea drones to hit vessels being repaired at the port and attack ships at seas, causing fires that damaged two warships and injured dozens, according to a report from NBC News.
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The Russian defense ministry said seven of the cruise missiles were shot down, while the sea drones were destroyed by Russian forces, adding that both damaged ships are expected to be fully restored and “will continue to serve in combat as part of their fleets.”
Andriy Ryzhenko, a retired Ukrainian navy captain, told Reuters that the attack was “the biggest attack on Sevastopol since the beginning of the war.”
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Sevastopol is the largest city in Russian-occupied Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014 and serves as the base of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
While it was unclear exactly what kind of missiles were used during the attack, Ukraine has showed increasing capability in recent months to hit Russian naval targets. The country has received billions of dollars in assistance from Western countries since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of the country last year, including advanced weapons that have helped Ukraine fight back against Russian forces.
The Ukrainian military took the unusual step of confirming the strike on Russian naval vessels in a social media post Wednesday, according to Reuters, saying on Telegram it had “conducted successful strikes on naval assets and port infrastructure of the occupiers at the docks of temporarily occupied Sevastopol.”
Meanwhile, Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Moscow-installed governor of Sevastopol, said on Telegram that 24 people were injured in the attack.
“All emergency services are working on the site, there is no danger to civilian objects in the city,” Razvozhayev said.
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