An overnight attack destroyed a shipment of Russian cruise missiles in the occupied Crimean peninsula, kyiv’s military agency said.
Footage posted on social media showed a large fireball lighting up the sky over the town of Dzhankoi in what was allegedly a drone strike on a train carrying Russian Kalibr missiles for Vladimir Putin’s Black Sea fleet.
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency reported what would be the latest in a series of brazen attacks on Russian military assets deep within Russian-controlled territory, but did not directly claim responsibility.
The Russian-appointed governor of the region reported an incident in the area of the same Crimean city in the northern part of the peninsula, although he did not mention cruise missiles as an attack target.
Dzhankoi is a key transportation hub in Crimea, with two major European railways and highways passing through the city, and is also home to the Dzhankoi airbase of the Russian Navy. None of the reports of the attack could be independently verified.
Footage posted on social channels overnight showed a large fireball lighting up the night sky over the city of Dzhankoi in what was allegedly a drone strike on a train carrying Russian Kalibr missiles to Vladimir Putin’s fleet in the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s military intelligence agency reported what would be the latest in a series of brazen attacks on Russian military assets deep within Russian-controlled territory. Pictured: A woman is seen walking her dog as smoke rises in the distance in footage purported to show the aftermath of Monday night’s attack on a missile shipment in Dzhankoi, Crimea.
A vague statement from the Ukrainian military agency, posted on its website on Monday, said an explosion destroyed several Kalibr cruise missiles, without saying explicitly that Ukraine was responsible or what weapon had been used.
He said the missiles were being transported by rail and were intended to be launched from submarines.
The agency hinted that the Kiev government was responsible, saying the explosion that destroyed the missiles continues “the process of demilitarizing Russia and preparing the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula for vacation.”
“An explosion in the temporarily occupied northern Crimean town of Dzhankoi destroyed Russian Kalibr-KN cruise missiles while they were being transported by rail,” it said.
The social media statement said the missiles, designed to be launched from surface ships in Russia’s Black Sea fleet, had an operational range of more than 1,550 miles on land and 233 miles at sea.
Ihor Ivin, the head of the Russian-based Dzhankoi administration, was quoted as saying the city had been attacked by drones and a 33-year-old man sustained shrapnel injuries from a downed drone.
He was taken to the hospital and was expected to survive.
TASS quoted Ivin as saying on Krym-24 TV that a house, a school and a grocery store caught fire and the power grid was damaged.
Oleg Kryuchkov, an adviser to the Russian-installed Crimean chief, said the drone strike was aimed at civilian targets.
‘All the drones targeted civilian sites. One was hit over the Dzhankoi technical school and fell between the instruction area and a student residence,’ he said on his Telegram channel.
There are no military sites nearby. The others were shot down in residential areas. In addition to explosives, each carried shrapnel.
Images circulating online showed parts of a destroyed drone, allegedly used in the Monday night attack, scattered on the ground.
Reporting on Kryuchkov’s comments, the Reuters news agency said it could not independently verify either the Ukrainian or Russian reports.
Images circulating online show parts of a destroyed drone, allegedly used in the Monday night attack, scattered on the ground.
Pictured: park of a drone that was allegedly used to destroy Russian missiles in Ukraine
A Russian military airbase is located near Dzhankoi, and Ukrainian officials have long said the town and surrounding areas have become Moscow’s largest military base in Crimea.
In a precursor to last year’s all-out invasion of Ukraine, Russia in 2014 seized Crimea and then annexed the peninsula in a move many countries condemned as illegal.
Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky has vowed to take back all Ukrainian land now occupied by Russia, including Crimea.
Another possible hint of a Ukrainian attack came from the Russian-appointed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov.
He said on social media that anti-aircraft guns were fired in the vicinity of Dzhankoi, where Ukraine’s intelligence agency said the cruise missiles were destroyed.
Aksenov said falling debris injured one person and damaged a house and a store. His report did not mention that cruise missiles were hit, did not specify why the anti-aircraft guns were fired or whether the injuries and damage were caused by debris from the anti-aircraft guns or an object that was shot down.
Unconfirmed reports on social media claimed that Russian air defenses shot down drones.
Throughout the current war, reports of attacks on Russian military bases, assassinations and other targets in Crimea have surfaced, with Ukraine rarely, if ever, explicitly claiming responsibility, but welcoming such incidents.
Last August, missiles destroyed several planes at an air base on the southwestern coast of the peninsula and Ukrainian authorities claimed responsibility for the attack.
Pictured: A Kalibr 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 a section of the Crimea/Kerch Bridge, a massive bridge built by Russia to connect Crimea to its mainland.
These incidents in Crimea and other areas of Russia far from the front lines of the war have exposed significant weaknesses in Russia’s defenses and have shown that Ukraine has previously unknown weapons capabilities. They also embarrassed Vladimir Putin, who reportedly believed the invasion would be quick and easy.
Kalibr weapons are a family of cruise missiles that can be launched from ships, submarines, and from the air, and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
There have been various reports of its use by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.