Ukraine’s pilots destroyed the control point of the Russian military at the Saky airfield, located in the occupied Crimea. Mykola Oleshchuk, Ukraine's Air Force commander, has confirmed the successful strike.

"Saky airfield! All targets have been shot down!.... Thanks to our pilots for their excellent work!" Oleshchuk wrote on social media.

Reports of explosions in occupied Crimea, particularly in the area around the Saky airfield emerged late on Friday evening, Jan. 5.

The pro-Ukrainian telegram channel "Crimean Wind" cited eyewitnesses, stating that about 10 explosions were heard in the Yevpatoria area, with additional ones reported in where the military airfield "Saky" is situated in the village of Novofedorovka.

During the evening, traffic on the Crimean bridge across the Kerch Strait was temporarily blocked for about an hour.

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In the meantime, the Russian Defense Ministry hasn't commented on any of the statements from the Ukrainian side, only announcing that their air defense successfully intercepted and shot down four guided missiles over Crimea.

Prior to this, Ukrainian Air Force Commander Mykola Oleshchuk said on Thursday that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) had carried out two missile strikes against Russian targets in Crimea; a command post, near Sevastopol, was hit at about 3 p.m. and a military unit, believed to be a radar station in Uyutne, near the city of Yevpatoria, in the evening.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 24 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 24 July 2024

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Oleshchuk thanked the pilots and “everyone who planned the operation for perfect combat work.” The wording of his Telegram post suggested the attacks had likely involved Anglo-French Storm Shadow/SCALP cruise missiles.

A spokesperson for the Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea said its air defenses had intercepted ten missiles and 36 drones during the course of what they called a Ukrainian “terrorist attack” and that only fragments of destroyed projectile fell at the two locations.

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However, within a couple of hours of the strike on the command post social media suggested that more than 20 soldiers and several senior Russian officers had been killed.

This claim was expanded upon shortly thereafter with suggestions that one of those killed had been Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov who had been made overall commander of Russia’s “special military operation” last January.

However, these rumours still haven't been confirmed by Moscow or Ukrainian Special Services.

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