Ukraine says the shipment of Russian Kalibr missiles was destroyed while being transported to the Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
Ukraine has reported that “multiple” Russian cruise missiles have been destroyed while being transported by rail to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
Ukraine’s military agency said late Monday that several Kalibr cruise missiles were destroyed in an explosion, without saying explicitly that Ukraine was responsible for the explosion or exactly how a powerful missile shipment was destroyed.
“An explosion in the city of Dzhankoy in the north of the temporarily occupied Crimea destroyed Russian Kalibr-KN cruise missiles while they were being transported by rail,” Ukraine’s intelligence agency said in social media posts. The agency said that the missiles were intended for a submarine launch by the Russian fleet in the Black Sea.
Ihor Even, the head of the Djanko administration installed in Russia, was quoted as saying that the city was attacked by drones and that a 33-year-old man was hit by shrapnel from a downed drone.
He was taken to the hospital and was expected to live. Russian news agency Tass quoted Evin as saying on the local TV channel Krym-24 that a house, a school and a grocery store were on fire, and the power grid was also damaged in the attack.
The Russian-appointed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, said on social media that anti-aircraft weapons were fired near Djanko, where the Ukrainian intelligence agency said the cruise missiles were destroyed. Aksenov said the falling debris injured one person and damaged a house and a shop.
Russian officials did not confirm that missiles were destroyed in the attack. Ukrainian media reported that the sounds of drone engines were heard before the explosion in Dzhankoy.
Kalibr cruise missiles have been used frequently in Russian attacks on Ukraine. In July 2022, a submarine-launched Kalibr cruise missile killed 23 civilians — including three children — in the city of Vinnytsia, in central Ukraine. Russia claimed the missile was directed at a meeting of the heads of the Ukrainian Air Force and representatives of Western arms suppliers.
The sounds of the drones that hit Cankoy in occupied Crimea are similar to those of Iranian Shahed-136/131.
Some sources speculate that the witness was redirected to targets in Crimea. Most likely, Ukraine has developed drones with similar engines.
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– Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) March 20, 2023
While reports of attacks on Russian military bases, assassinations, and other targets in Crimea have surfaced regularly throughout the war, Ukraine has rarely, if ever, explicitly claimed responsibility for such attacks, but welcomes their outcome.
The destruction of the cruise missile shipment in Crimea came after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the peninsula on Saturday on an unannounced tour to mark the ninth anniversary of the region’s annexation from Ukraine.
Putin made the trip a day after the International Criminal Court said it had issued an arrest warrant over his arrest on suspicion of war crimes for illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. The court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Russia claims that the deportation of children from Ukraine is a humanitarian act.
Moscow immediately dismissed the ICC arrest warrants as outrageous and Ukraine welcomed them as a major advance in seeking justice for victims of Russian war crimes.
A precursor to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Moscow seized Crimea in 2014, then annexed the peninsula in a move many countries considered illegal.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky promised to restore all Ukrainian territories now occupied by Russia, including Crimea.
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