Major Ukrainian drone attack in Crimea repelled – governor
Ukraine unsuccessfully attempted a major drone bombardment early on Saturday on the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the city governor has announced.
It was the largest attack of this nature on the peninsula since the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, Mikhail Razvozhayev told journalists.
According to preliminary data, a naval drone was also destroyed off Sevastopol’s coast, Razvozhayev added.
There was no damage to civilian infrastructure as a result of the assault, he said.
Air defense systems were activated in Sevastopol to repel incoming drones from around 04:30 local time, the governor wrote on Telegram.
The attack continued for several hours, with “all of the UAVs being shot down,” he said.
The governor urged the public against posting videos of UAVs or revealing any information related to the attacks on social media, as it could help the Ukrainian military to better understand how the defense of the city is organized.
Located in Crimea, which became part of Russia after a referendum in 2014, Sevastopol has been designated a federal city by Moscow due to its strategic importance. The Black Sea port has been a frequent target of drone attacks by Ukraine in recent months.
In July, six people were injured after a UAV crashed into the Black Sea Fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol. The attack took place on Russia’s Navy Day and led to the cancellation of celebrations in the city. Another UAV hit the roof of the HQ in August, but failed to cause any significant damage.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed on numerous occasions that Kiev will regain control of Crimea from Russia. “We will return Crimea by any means that we consider correct, without consulting with other countries,” he said in late August.
Shortly after that, Zelensky’s aide Mikhail Podoliak urged people in Crimea to “prepare a bomb shelter, stock up on a sufficient amount of water and charge power banks right now” in anticipation of “active de-occupation” efforts by Ukraine. However, Kiev’s threats weren’t followed up by action.
Russia has warned that any major provocation against the peninsula will be met with a harsh response. Earlier this month it launched a series of missile strikes against Ukrainian military targets and energy infrastructure after a truck bombing, which Moscow claims was masterminded by Kiev, damaged the Crimean Bridge and killed three people.