The Kiev Military Agency announced that a night attack destroyed a shipment of Russian cruise missiles in occupied Crimea.
Footage posted on social media showed a large fireball lighting up the sky over the town of Dzhankoy in what was reported to be a drone attack on a train carrying Russian Kalibr missiles to Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea fleet.
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency has reported what may be the latest in a series of brazen attacks on Russian military assets deep in Russian-controlled territory, but has not directly claimed responsibility.
The Russian appointed district governor reported an incident in the area of the same Crimean town in the northern part of the peninsula, though he did not mention cruise missiles as the target of the attack.
Dzhankoi is a major transport hub in Crimea, with two major railways and European highways passing through the city, and it is also home to the Dzhankoi Air Base for the Russian Navy. None of the reports of the attack could be independently verified.
Footage broadcast on social media channels overnight showed a large fireball lighting up the night sky over the town of Dzhankoy in what was reported to be a drone attack on a train carrying Russian Kalibr missiles to Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea fleet.
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency has reported what may be the latest in a series of brazen attacks on Russian military assets deep in Russian-controlled territory. Pictured: A woman is seen walking her dog as smoke billows in the distance in footage purporting to show the aftermath of Monday night’s attack on a missile shipment in Dzankoy, Crimea
A vague statement by Ukraine’s military agency, posted on its website on Monday, said several Kalibr cruise missiles were destroyed in an explosion, without explicitly saying that Ukraine was responsible or what weapon was used.
It added that the missiles were carried by rail and were to be launched by submarine.
And the agency hinted that the Kiev government was responsible, saying that the explosion that led to the destruction of the missiles continues “the Russian disarmament process and prepares the Ukrainian Crimea peninsula to end the occupation.”
“An explosion occurred in the city of Dzhankoy, in the north of the temporarily occupied Crimea, destroyed Russian cruise missiles, the Caliber-KN, while they were being transported by rail,” it added.
The statement on social media said the missiles, which are designed to be launched from surface ships of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, have an operational range of more than 1,550 miles on land and 233 miles at sea.
Ihor Even, the head of the Djanko administration installed in Russia, was quoted as saying that the city was attacked by drones and that a 33-year-old man was hit by shrapnel from a downed drone.
He was taken to hospital and expected to live.
Tass quoted Evin as saying on Krym-24 TV that a house, a school and a grocery store were on fire, and the power grid was damaged.
Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the Russian-installed president of Crimea, said the drone attack was aimed at civilian targets.
All drones targeted civilian sites. One of them was hit over the Dzankoy Technical School and fell between the instruction area and the students’ residence,” he said.
There are no military sites nearby. The others fell in residential areas. In addition to explosives, each one carried shrapnel.
Reuters, citing the comments, said it had been unable to independently verify the Ukrainian or Russian reports.
A Russian military air base is located near Djankoy, and Ukrainian officials have long said the city and its surrounding areas have been turned into Moscow’s largest military base in Crimea.
In a precursor to last year’s full invasion of Ukraine, Russia in 2014 seized Crimea, then annexed the peninsula in a move many countries condemned as illegal.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to re-establish control over all Ukrainian territories now occupied by Russia, including Crimea.
Another possible indication of a Ukrainian attack came from the Russian-appointed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov.
He said on social media that anti-aircraft weapons were fired near Djanko, where the Ukrainian intelligence agency said the cruise missiles were destroyed.
Aksenov said the falling debris injured one person and damaged a house and a shop. In his report, he did not indicate that cruise missiles had been hit, specifying why the anti-aircraft weapons were fired or whether the hit and damage resulted from debris from the anti-aircraft weapons or from a downed object.
Unconfirmed reports on social media claimed that Russian anti-aircraft defenses had shot down drones.
Throughout the current war, reports have surfaced of attacks on Russian military bases, assassinations and other targets in Crimea, and Ukraine has rarely, if ever, explicitly claimed responsibility but has welcomed such incidents.
Last August, missiles destroyed several planes at an air base on the southwestern coast of the peninsula, and Ukrainian authorities later claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pictured: A Caliber cruise missile is seen being launched in footage released by Russia in July 2022 during Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
And on October 8, an explosion severely damaged part of the Crimean/Kerch Bridge, a massive bridge built by Russia to connect Crimea to its mainland.
These incidents in Crimea and other regions of Russia far from the front lines of the war exposed major weaknesses in Russia’s defenses and showed that Ukraine had previously unknown weapons capabilities. They also embarrassed Vladimir Putin, who thought the invasion would be quick and easy.
The Kalibr weapons are a family of cruise missiles that can be launched from ships, submarines and from the air and capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
There have been several reports of it being used by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.
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