Ukraine targets Crimea with drones and missiles
Three dozen Ukrainian drones have been shot down while attempting to strike Crimea in an overnight raid on Friday, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
The attack came just hours after an attempted missile strike on Sevastopol, in which Kiev’s forces used ten projectiles, including Western-supplied “Storm Shadows.”
“An attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack with unmanned aerial vehicles was stopped on January 5,” the ministry said in a bulletin.
“Air defense systems on duty destroyed and intercepted 36 Ukrainian UAVs over the territory of the Republic of Crimea and one UAV over the territory of Krasnodar Region,” the military added.
According to local media, none of the Storm Shadow missiles reached their intended targets. Debris from the destroyed projectiles caused some property damage, however, and injured one civilian.
One downed missile fell in a residential area near Sevastopol State University (SevGU) but did not explode. The area has been cordoned off to allow explosive ordnance disposal teams to handle the situation.
Ukrainian artillery also targeted the Russian city of Belgorod at arund the same time as the drone attack. While a total of ten rockets were intercepted, at least one struck a parking lot in a residential area, shattering windows and damaging a number of cars. Two civilians were reported injured.
Belgorod has been subjected to Ukrainian shelling for seven consecutive days since before New Year. On Saturday, rockets with cluster warheads struck the town square, killing 25 civilians – including children – and wounding 100 more. Moscow has accused the US and the UK of helping plan the strike.
Five NATO reconnaissance planes and a drone had surveyed Crimea on Wednesday, while an American RC-135W spy plane was patrolling the Black Sea during the missile strike on Thursday, according to the Russian think-tank Rybar.