The Russian military said a Ukrainian missile strike on a shipyard in annexed Crimea had damaged a Russian ship.
The Russian Defense Ministry said late Saturday that Ukrainian forces fired 15 cruise missiles at the Zaliv shipyard in Kerch, a city in the east of the Crimean Peninsula. Air defenses shot down 13 missiles but others hit the shipyard and damaged a vessel, a statement from the ministry said.
The ministry didn’t give details about the ship or the extent of the damage.
The Ukrainian air force commander, Mykola Oleshchuk, said in a statement that at the time of the attack carried out by Ukrainian tactical aviation, “one of the most modern ships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet was at the shipyard — carrier of the Kalibr cruise missiles.” He didn’t say directly, however, that this particular ship was damaged by the strike.
The Crimean Peninsula, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been a frequent target since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine 20 months ago. Crimea has served as the key hub supporting the invasion.
Ukraine has increasingly targeted naval facilities in Crimea in recent months. In September, a Ukrainian missile strike on a strategic shipyard in the port city of Sevastopol damaged two Russian ships and wounded 24 people. Later that same month, a missile strike blasted the Crimean headquarters of Russia’s navy in Sevastopol.
Commenting on Saturday’s strike, head of Ukraine’s presidential office Andriy Yermak said in a Telegram post on Sunday morning that “life constantly proves that there won’t be (Russia’s) Black Sea fleet in Crimea.”
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military said a Russian missile strike killed troops and injured civilians in the Zaporizhzhia area late Friday. Details about the attack, reportedly carried out by an Iskander ballistic missile, have not been made public.
A video posted on social media claimed the strike landed on a group of soldiers gathered for a ceremony to honor fellow soldiers. There was no immediate confirmation on the number of dead and injured. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Rustem Umerov said he has ordered an investigation.
A deadly missile strike on a Ukrainian village on Oct. 5 killed 59 civilians attending the wake for a local soldier who died fighting Russian troops.