Ukraine carried out a high-profile attack on Crimea early Wednesday morning. The headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol was hit by cruise missiles, among other things. According to Sky News, the Ukrainian army deployed British Storm Shadow missiles.
A Russian submarine and a large landing ship were destroyed in the attack on the shipyard, a Ukrainian military intelligence official said on TV. According to various media, it is the first time in the war that a submarine has been hit. The attack is believed to be one of the largest on the Russian navy since the start of the invasion.
Ten missiles, three drones
The Russian Defense Ministry reports that Ukraine has launched ten cruise missiles and three naval drones. The Kremlin claims that seven projectiles and three drones have been intercepted. A fire has broken out at the shipyard, the Russian-installed governor of Crimea acknowledges. According to him, two damaged vessels are being repaired.
“We can say with great certainty that they cannot be repaired,” Andri Yusov, spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence, said of the two affected vessels. He emphasized on Ukrainian state television that there has been significant damage to the shipyard.
Photos and videos are circulating on social media showing explosions and fire at the naval base. It is unclear whether any deaths occurred. Russia only reports that 24 people were injured. Civilians would not have been in danger.
The affected naval ship is said to be of the so-called Ropucha class. This is reported by Open Source Intelligence experts, who verify images via public sources on X. Ropucha ships are generally over 100 meters long. They are intended to quickly land troops and armored vehicles during landing operations.
The Ukrainian attack was carried out with Storm Shadow cruise missiles, write Sky News based on an anonymous British and Ukrainian source. These missiles, which have been supplied to Kyiv by the United Kingdom, among others, have a range of more than 500 kilometers. They are launched from aircraft and then fly to a pre-programmed target.
Commander thanks pilots
The Ukrainian army has claimed responsibility for the attack, but has not provided details on how exactly the action was carried out. The commander of the air force did thank his pilots “for their great work”. In his message on Telegram, the commander shared a photo of the burning shipyard.
NATO members have supplied Ukraine with numerous missiles, ammunition and military equipment, but have banned Kyiv from deploying this equipment on Russian territory. Use against Russian targets in Crimea is permitted: the Kremlin annexed the Ukrainian peninsula in 2014.
The Ukrainian government keeps repeating that Crimea will be retaken. Military analysts point out that such an operation will be very difficult, as Russia has built heavy defense lines. Kyiv already has a comprehensive plan in place for what should happen once Crimea is liberated.
In recent months, the Ukrainian army has increased its attacks on Crimea. Russia regularly reports Ukrainian drone or missile attacks there. For example, ammunition or oil depots are destroyed. The Sevastopol naval base has also been targeted several times.
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