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Ukrainian air strike damages Russian naval ship in Crimea

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Ukraine said its air force destroyed the Novocherkassk landing ship, with President Volodymyr Zelensky joking on social media that the vessel had now joined “the Russian underwater Black Sea fleet”.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu informed “about the damage to our large landing ship” to President Vladimir Putin in “a very detailed report”, the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

Ukraine’s military said earlier that its air force had destroyed the Russian naval ship in a missile attack on the eastern Crimean port.

The Ukrainian defence ministry wrote on X that the “Novocherkassk landing ship was destroyed in Feodosia tonight”.

It published an unattributed photo showing flames and smoke in a port at night.

“Ukraine’s aviation did an excellent job. Crimea is Ukraine. There is no place for the occupier’s fleet here,” the ministry wrote.

In his post on social media, Zelensky wrote: “The occupiers will not have a single peaceful place in Ukraine”.

The attack comes after Ukraine struck the Black Sea fleet’s headquarters in Sevastopol in September, forcing Moscow to move warships to ports further east.

British defence minister Grant Shapps wrote on Twitter that “this latest destruction of Putin’s navy demonstrates that those who believe there’s a stalemate in the Ukraine war are wrong!”

“Russia’s dominance in the Black Sea is now challenged,” he added.

Ship ‘transported Shaheds’

Ukraine’s air force said that its tactical aviation attacked the Novocherkassk with cruise missiles at around 0030 GMT in the area of Feodosia.

Videos posted on social media showed a fire on the horizon in a port area, followed by a loud explosion and a much larger burst of flames and smoke.

Ukraine’s armed forces said that “on board of the ship were Shahed drones that Russia uses for attacks on Ukrainian cities”.

Ukraine frequently carries out strikes in Crimea, particularly targeting the Russian military.

In April 2022, it sank the cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet.

The Novocherkassk was previously used by Russia for its military intervention in Syria.

The governor of the Russian-annexed peninsula, Sergei Aksyonov, wrote on Telegram: “Sadly, one person was killed and two others were wounded in an enemy attack on Feodosia.”

Crimea’s Krym 24 television reported that two had been hospitalised in a moderately severe condition.

Aksyonov said earlier that the city’s port was cordoned off following “an enemy attack” that caused a “detonation” and fire.

Six buildings were damaged, mostly with broken windows, the governor said, and some local residents have been evacuated.

(AFP)

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