Ukraine launched its largest attack yet on Russian-occupied Crimea overnight with cruise missiles blitzing a port ahead of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un.
The port of Sevastopol was hit by up to seven explosions, which set a shipyard ablaze and wounded at least 24 people, Russian officials said.
Footage showed the scale of the attack – the largest of the war so far on the city which is the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
A strategically important shipbuilding and repair yard was engulfed in flames and a power plant and other Black Sea naval facilities were also hit, it appeared.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said Ukraine launched ten cruise missiles at the shipyard and three sea drones at Russian ships in the Black Sea.
Ukraine launched its largest attack yet on Russian-occupied Crimea overnight with cruise missiles blitzing a port ahead of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Kim Jong Un. Pictured: A large mushroom cloud is seen rising over the Black Sea port overnight
Seven missiles were shot down and all the sea drones have been destroyed, the military said, but some missiles damaged two ships being repaired in the shipyard, in addition to some buildings.
Ukraine’s RBC-Ukraine news outlet reported, citing unnamed sources in Ukrainian military intelligence, that an amphibious landing ship and a submarine were damaged in the attack.
Some Russian messaging app channels made the same claim. There was no immediate comment from Ukrainian officials.
Kyiv almost never acknowledges responsibility for attacks on Crimea or Russian regions that have become regular in recent months.
Mikhail Razvozhayev, Moscow-appointed governor of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, said on Telegram that 24 people were injured in the fire. He posted a photo of the blaze.
‘The Ukrainian armed forces launched a strike with ten cruise missiles at the S. Ordzhonikidze ship repair plant,’ Russia’s defence ministry said on Telegram.
Ukraine also ‘attempted an attack with three unmanned boats at a detachment of ships of the Black Sea fleet’ during a sea crossing, it added.
Blistering strikes saw up to seven huge explosions hit a naval port in Sevastopol, setting the shipyard ablaze and wounding at least 24 people, Russian officials said
Footage showed the scale of the attack, the largest of the war so far on the city which is the headquarters of Russia ‘s Black Sea Fleet
‘Air defence systems shot down seven cruise missiles, and the patrol ship Vasily Bykov destroyed all unmanned boats. As a result of being hit by enemy cruise missiles, two ships undergoing repairs were damaged.’
The Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, has been a frequent target in the 18-month-old war.
The Sevastopol shipyard is of strategic importance to Russia as vessels in its Black Sea fleet – some already damaged in strikes – are being repaired there.
Kyiv has repeatedly said it plans to take back the peninsula.
The attack is the latest military embarrassment for the Russian President who today is meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the Far East.
The highly-anticipated meeting could see the two allies agree on a sanctions-busting arms deal to support Moscow’s on-going invasion in Ukraine.
Its supply of munitions dwindling as it fights to fend off Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
Earlier today, the Russian warmonger shook hands enthusiastically with Kim as soon as he stepped out of his black limousine and said he was ‘very glad to see him’.
Kim, one of the few leaders who has stuck by the despot since his full-scale invasion of Ukraine began 19 months ago, told the Russian despot he was fighting a ‘sacred war’ with the West and their two countries would together battle with ‘imperialism’.
The attack is the latest military embarrassment for the Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) who today is meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un (left) in Russia’s far-east
The attack against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters came as Moscow launched drones against Ukraine’s Odesa region in the pre-dawn hours.
Like Sevastopol, Odesa also sits on the Black Sea.
The attacks damaged port and civilian infrastructure in Odesa’s Izmail district and wounded six people, three seriously, Regional Governor Oleh Kiper said.
Ukraine’s air force said it intercepted 32 of 44 Shahed-type drones overnight, with most of them launched toward the southern parts of the Odesa district.
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