Ukraine launches its ‘largest drone strike’ of war so far on Crimea and Black Sea targets

Ukraine launches its ‘largest drone strike’ of war so far on Crimea and Black Sea targets

Ukraine has fired at least 19 “lethal” drones over the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula, and three more over other bordering regions of Russia, the Russian defence ministry said on Thursday.

The Russian anti-aircraft units intercepted and destroyed over a dozen drones in the region, the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

“In the night from 20 to 21 September, an attempt by the Kyiv regime to commit a terrorist attack with lethal drones on sites in the Russian Federation was intercepted,” the ministry said.

Russian and Crimea-related Telegram channels reported loud explosions overnight. “In Sevastopol, in the area of ​​​​Kazachya and Kamyshovaya bays, it has been very loud for the last hour,” read a post on Telegram channel Crimean Wind, adding that the explosions set off car alarms.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces are massively trying to attack Crimea using drones. According to military officials, at least seven drones have been shot down in just the last 20 minutes. Residents of Evpatoria, Dzhankoy, Balaklava, Sevastopol, Saki, Novofedorovka and other cities report the sounds of air defence,” said Baza, a prominent Telegram account related to Russia’s security services.

It added that the locals have termed the overnight attack as the “largest” drone strike of all time.

Three drones were downed over Kursk, Belgorod and Orlov in central and southern Russia.

Belgorod, just 40km (25 miles) from Ukraine’s war frontline, has been under continued air assault every day this month. The illegally annexed Crimea is also now heavily targeted in the continuing warfare, with sensitive military infrastructure and sites in the region on Kyiv’s radar.

The ministry did not mention if there are any immediate casualties or damage.

While Ukraine rarely takes responsibility for these attacks on Russia and Russian-controlled territories, it has recounted the strikes with a sense of achievement as it maintains that targeting these regions aids its military counteroffensive.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s defence ministry made a rare triumphant video and confirmed its forces struck a Russian Black Sea fleet command post near Sevastopol in Crimea, a week after the major naval port was set ablaze in a cruise missile attack.