Drone attack targets Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters

USA & World

Drone attack targets Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters

A drone has been shot down over the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in annexed Crimea, a local official said, in the second attempted strike on the command in Sevastopol in less than a month.

“The drone was shot down just above the fleet headquarters” in the city of Sevastopol, city Governor Mikhail Razvojaev wrote on Telegram on Saturday, blaming the attempt on Ukrainian forces.

“It fell on the roof and caught fire,” he said, adding that there was no significant damage or victim.

The first reported attack came on July 31, when a presumed Ukrainian drone attacked the Black Sea Fleet on Russia’s Navy Day, wounding five people.

Russia also reported Ukrainian drone attacks late on Friday.

Russia’s RIA and Tass news agencies, citing a local official in Crimea, said it appeared Russian anti-aircraft forces had been in action near the western Crimean port of Yevpatoriya on Friday night.

Video footage posted by a Russian website showed what appeared to be a ground-to-air missile hitting a target.

Tass cited a local official as saying Russian anti-aircraft forces knocked down six Ukrainian drones sent to attack the town of Nova Kakhovka, east of the city of Kherson.

Separately, an official in Crimea said defences there had downed an unspecified number of drones over the city of Sevastopol.

“The Ukrainian armed forces treated the Russians to a magical evening,” Seriy Khlan, a member of Kherson’s regional council disbanded by Russian occupation forces, said.

Ukraine has recently intensified attacks behind Russian lines in an attempt to disrupt supply lines Moscow uses to sustain its occupation.

While Kyiv has been withholding official comment on incidents in Crimea or inside Russia, it has hinted that it was behind them, using long-range weapons or sabotage.

On Friday, the United States said for the first time that it would provide Ukraine with ScanEagle surveillance drones, mine-resistant vehicles, anti-armour rounds and howitzer weapons in a new $775m aid package to Ukraine.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in televised remarks on Friday that statements from Ukrainian officials about striking facilities in Russian-occupied Crimea mark “an escalation of the conflict openly encouraged by the United States and its NATO allies”.