Ukraine said it had struck part of Russia’s air defense system in annexed Crimea overnight, as Moscow said it repelled a major attempted missile strike on the peninsula on Monday, as reported by AFP.
Kyiv has increased attacks on the Black Sea peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014 since it launched a counteroffensive against Russian forces earlier this year. Ukraine has regularly targeted Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, going back to its sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva.
“The Armed Forces successfully hit a strategic object of the air defense system on the western coast of occupied Crimea,” the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) StratCom (strategic communications) unit said on social media.
According to the independent Russian-language, Lviv-based media Astra, the missile attack was on Oct. 30 at 3 a.m. near the village of Olenivka in the Black Sea region of the Crimean Peninsula. The attack targeted the location of a missile and anti-aircraft regiment of the Russian Defense Ministry. In the initial attack, at least 17 Russian soldiers were wounded in the regiment and five vehicles were damaged, one beyond repair, Astra reports.
Around the same time, the Russian news site RIA Novosti wrote that two Ukrainian uncrewed boats were spotted in the Black Sea.
“On Oct. 30, around 04:00 Moscow time, two uncrewed boats of the Ukrainian Navy were spotted in the Black Sea by technical surveillance means. The area where the unmanned boats were spotted was hit by fire,” the Russian Ministry of Defense reported.
According to the Kremlin’s occupational officials, a set of mine countermeasures and anti-sabotage activities were being carried out on the outer reaches of Sevastopol Bay with the occupying government declaring a terrorist yellow danger level in effect in Sevastopol, and for Crimea in general.
The Russian-appointed Sevastopol head occupation official Mikhail Razvozhayev said that at about 3 a.m., according to preliminary data, Black Sea Fleet ships were firing at seaborne drones.
Later, at 7 a.m., Razvozhayev said that Russian troops were using “camouflage smoke” equipment:
“If you see smoke in the area of the inner raid and the Northern Bay, it is the military using service camouflage.”
“I remind you that the smell is unpleasant, but it is absolutely safe,” added the governor of Sevastopol.
Later on Monday, Russia said its air defenses had successfully shot down eight Ukrainian missiles fired at the peninsula, according to AFP.
“On Oct. 30, at around 13:00 [Moscow time, 10:00 GMT], an attempted attack by the Kyiv regime with eight Storm Shadow cruise missiles at targets on the Crimean Peninsula was stopped,” Russia’s defense ministry said according to RIA Novosti..
“As a result of air defense systems repelling the attack, all missiles were shot down,” it added.
“According to preliminary data, the military shot down two aerial targets over Sevastopol," the Sevastopol governor said at noon in a Telegram message.
One person was injured from falling debris, the Russian-installed Razvozhayev reported.
Russian military bloggers had overnight reported Ukraine was stepping up its attacks on the peninsula, reports AFP.
The influential Rybar Telegram channel – which is close to the Russian military – said Kyiv had launched a “combined attack.”
It alleged Ukraine had launched two US ATACMS missiles which fell near the village of Olenivka, on the western coast of Crimea.
Rybar said Russian forces were not able to down the missiles “but thanks to measures taken earlier there was no serious damage.”
The social media account alleged that “half an hour later” Black Sea Fleet sailors discovered three Ukrainian naval drones near Sevastopol.
Rybar said one of them was “destroyed,” while another two tried to enter the Bay of Khersones before being shot at and sunk by Russian forces.
During the previous evening of Oct. 29, at around 11 p.m., the partisan organization of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars ATESH published these cryptic words: “We are working. Silence.” The Kyiv Post tried to find out from the group whether this statement was related to the overnight attack on the Crimean Peninsula, but at the time of publishing, Kyiv Post had not received a response.
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