Ukraine says it has blown up major Russian navy vessel in Crimea’s Feodosia port

Ukrainian air force says attack destroyed major Russian Navy vessel, the landing ship Novocherkask

Arpan Rai
Tuesday 26 December 2023 17:19 GMT
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File: Ukraine releases footage of damaged Russian ship in Crimea

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Ukrainian officials claimed responsibility for a massive air attack on the Crimean town of Feodosia early on Tuesday, damaging Vladimir Putin’s fleet parked in the port area as powerful explosions rocked the region.

Mykola Oleshchuk, the commander of Ukraine’s air force, shared a video of the attack on his official Telegram channel and stated that the assault destroyed a major Russian Navy vessel, the landing ship Novocherkask. The port, located 100km (62 miles) from the Kerch bridge, also came under attack from Ukraine.

“And the fleet in Russia is getting smaller and smaller! Thanks to the Air Force pilots and everyone involved for the filigree work,” the top commander said. He shared a 48-second video of the assault, captured from a distance, depicting a massive cloud of smoke and fire raging in the sky.

The official did not share any imagery showing the destroyed landing ship.

Mr Oleshchuk also warned Russia to leave Crimea “before it’s too late”.

Russia’s defence ministry said that one person was killed and two injured and the large landing ship, Novocherkassk, was damaged in the overnight Ukrainian attack. The Interfax news agency cited the Russian defence ministry as saying that Ukraine had used guided missiles launched by aircraft to attack Feodosia.

(Telegram / @VentdeCrimee/AFP via)

Russia-backed officials in Crimea confirmed the attack and said it had sparked a fire in the town’s port.

The Russia-installed governor Sergei Aksyonov stated that the Ukrainian attack had caused a fire in the town’s port area, but it was promptly contained.

“All relevant emergency services are on site. Residents of several houses will be evacuated,” he said on his Telegram channel.

Several Russian news outlets and Telegram channels, tracking the Ukrainian attacks on Crimea, showcased footage of massive explosions and fires engulfing the port area.

This is the first major Ukrainian attack on the Russian facility in Crimea in at least four months.

In September, Ukrainian forces fired at least 19 drones over the Black Sea and the Crimean peninsula, and three more over other border regions of Russia.

This is also a rare acknowledgement of an attack from Ukrainian officials within minutes of blowing up Russian infrastructure in Crimea. Previously, Ukraine did not take responsibility for these attacks on Russia and Russian-controlled territories.

It is not immediately clear if the massive air assault damaged more Russian Naval assets parked in the Crimean port town.

In another similar attack in November, Ukraine said its naval drones had destroyed two small Russian landing boats in Crimea, in an embarrassment for Mr Putin. Ukrainian military intelligence said at the time that two amphibious Russian ships loaded with armoured vehicles had been hit by naval drones overnight.

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