Ukraine war

Russia claims Ukrainian drones downed in Crimea as conflict intensifies

Smoke rises over the site of an explosion at an ammunition storage facility of the Russian army near the village of Mayskoye, Crimea, forcing the evacuation of over 3,000 people. (Photo: AP)

Russian authorities reported shooting down Ukrainian drones in Crimea on Saturday. In contrast, Ukrainian officials said Russian forces went forward with efforts to seize one of the few remaining cities in eastern Ukraine not under their control. The Russian military continued its attacks in the north and south of Ukraine.

In Crimea, which Russia invaded from Ukraine in 2014, local air defenses shot down a drone over the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, according to Russian authorities. It was the second drone incident at the headquarters in three weeks and followed explosions on the peninsula this month at a Russian airstrip and military store.

Oleg Kryuchkov, an advisor to the governor of Crimea, stated that air-defense systems in western Crimea were activated by "attacks by small drones."

"Saturday morning, air defense systems successfully engaged all targets over Crimean territory," His boss Sergei Aksyonov stated on Telegram that there were no injuries or material losses.

Officials in Ukraine have never acknowledged Russia's takeover of Crimea.

The governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhaev, stated that the drone that was shot down there landed on the roof of the fleet's headquarters and caused no substantial damage or injuries.

However, the episode highlighted the vulnerability of Russian soldiers in Crimea. On July 31, a drone strike on Russia's Black Sea navy headquarters injured five people and prompted the cancellation of Russia's Navy Day celebrations.

In Crimea, a Russian ammunition storage facility exploded last week. Previously, it was alleged that nine Russian jets were destroyed at an airbase in Crimea.

After the explosions in Crimea, Ukrainian authorities refrained from officially claiming responsibility, but President Volodymyr Zelensky referred to Ukrainian attacks behind enemy lines.

In recent weeks, fighting has intensified in southern Ukraine, just north of Crimea, as Ukrainian forces attempt to oust Russian soldiers from cities they have controlled since the beginning of the six-month war.

According to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office, a Russian missile attack wounded 12 persons, including three children, on Saturday in the town of Voznesensk in the Mykolaiv area and damaged residences and an apartment building.

According to the governor, two of the children were in critical condition, and one had lost an eye.

According to Ukrainian and Russia-installed local officials, a Ukrainian airstrike hit targets in Melitopol, the largest Russian-controlled city in the Zaporizhzhia region, 100 kilometers north of Crimea.

The Ukrainian military announced on Saturday that it had destroyed a valuable Russian radar system and other assets located in the occupied territory of southern Zaporizhia. It was unclear whether this referenced the attack on Melitopol.

"There were powerful explosions in Melitopol last night, which the entire city heard," the mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Ferodov, reported. "According to preliminary data, (it was) a pinpoint strike against one of the Russian military bases, which the Russian fascists are attempting to restore for the umpteenth time in the airfield area."

In the east, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military reported escalated fighting near Bakhmut, a tiny city whose fall would allow Russia to threaten the two largest remaining Ukrainian-held cities in the eastern Donbas region.

Bakhmut has been a primary target of Moscow's eastern push for weeks as the Russian military attempts to conclude a months-long campaign to take all of the Donbas, where pro-Moscow separatists have declared two republics that Russia recognized as independent entities at the start of the conflict.

A local Ukrainian official reported persistent violence on Saturday near four settlements on the border of the contested Donbas region's Luhansk and Donetsk provinces. Governor of Luhansk Serhii Haidai did not identify the settlements.

Last month, Russian soldiers overran nearly all of Luhansk and had since focused on taking Ukrainian-held territory in Donetsk.

On Friday, seven civilians were murdered by Russian shelling in Donetsk province, including four in Bakhmut, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko posted on Telegram on Saturday.

Taking Bakhmut would allow the Russians to push on Kramatorsk and Slovyansk, the principal Ukrainian-held cities in the area.

Ukraine stated that Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, as well as the northern Kharkiv region, home to Ukraine's second-largest city, were attacked on Friday.

Overnight, local authorities reported increased Russian shelling over a broad front, encompassing the border districts of northern Kharkiv and Sumy, as well as eastern Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv.

A massive column of burnt and captured Russian tanks and troop carriers was displayed on a central street in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv on Saturday, prompting pedestrians to take photographs.

The exhibit corresponds with the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion, which occurred on August 24, just days before Ukraine's independence.

Also, on Saturday, the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, Turkey, authorized the departure of four ships carrying 33,300 metric tons of Ukrainian food under the Black Sea Grain agreement.

Today, the ships will depart Ukrainian ports.

Additionally, the agency will perform ten more ship inspections tomorrow. The agreement aims to transport tons of Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea.

Publish : 2022-08-21 10:19:00

Give Your Comments