Russia’s main shipyard in Crimea has been struck in a major attack involving 10 cruise missiles, according to Russian officials, with videos overnight appearing to show large explosions at a port in Sevastopol.
It comes as Ukraine said it shot down 32 drones out of 44 fired by Russia overnight, with Ukrainian port infrastructure in Odesa described as being the main target.
The attack on Sevastopol targeted the main facility where Russia builds and repairs ships for its Black Sea Fleet, which has been involved in blockading grain exports from Ukraine.
Of a total 10 cruise missiles fired around 3am, seven were downed by Russia’s air defence systems, the country’s defence ministry said.
The Russian defence ministry said at least three high-speed boats also targeted the Crimean facility but were destroyed. “As a result of being hit by enemy cruise missiles, two ships under repair were damaged,” the ministry said.
The Russia-backed governor of Crimea, Mikhail Razvozhaev, shared a photo from the port as a vessel behind him appeared damaged and an active fire continued to blaze in the background.
He said at least 24 people were injured in the strike but did not say if any deaths took place.
Videos purporting to show the strike showed three explosions in quick succession in Sevastopol.
Russia-backed authorities made the rare confirmation of the successful Ukrainian attacks shortly after local residents in the region posted photos and videos of the shipyard region covered in thick fire.
Locals also shared videos of thunderous explosions heard miles away captured on CCTV cameras.
The Independent has not verified the authenticity of the videos. There was no immediate comment from Kyiv.
Ukraine almost never publicly claims responsibility for attacks inside Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, but has been saying in recent months that destroying Russia’s military infrastructure helps Kyiv’s counteroffensive.
Another drone was shot down in Russia’s Tver region, northwest of Moscow, where no casualties were reported, regional authorities said.
The Crimean peninsula, illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014, has been targeted repeatedly since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year.
The Sevastopol shipyard attack appeared to be one of the biggest in recent weeks. The shipyard is of strategic importance to Russia as vessels in its Black Sea Fleet are repaired there.