Russia scrambles defences as explosions erupt in Crimea ‘drone attack’

Ukraine: Naval drones strike Sevastopol in Crimea

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Russian forces are on high alert in occupied-Crimea after drone strikes allegedly hit the port city of Sevastopol on Wednesday morning. The Kremlin-backed administration suspended all sea passenger transport in the area after air defences were scrambled to counter multiple drones. Explosions were reported in the South Bay area, near to where Russia’s Black Sea Fleet are docked, though local governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said “navy men opened gun fire” successfully against the incoming UAVs. CCTV footage from a nearby apartment showed the windows shaking as an explosion resounded nearby.

Governor Razvozhayev said: “Our fleet repelled a surface drone attack early this morning. So far, three drones have been destroyed.

“They attempted to penetrate the bay, but our Navy men opened gun fire against them. Also, air defences were activated.

No war ships were destroyed in the attack, he added, though “Some windows got broken from downed amphibious enemy drones. No one was injured.”

The Russian RIA news agency also reported that several radio stations in the Crimean peninsula had been hacked as the area came under sustained attack.

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Russia drone strikes kill 3 in Kyiv

Russia launched more than 20 drone attacks on the Kyiv region overnight, killing at least three civilians, local officials have reported.

Two multistorey apartment blocks and an educational building were damaged by the attacks, which were carried out with Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze drones, as more people are believed to be buried beneath the rubble.

The Kyiv regional military administration reported on its Telegram channel that a “civilian object” had been damaged and that rescuers were still working at the scene.

The Ukrainian military said it had shot down 16 out of 21 Iranian drones.

China’s Xi Jinping leaves Moscow

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has left Moscow, wrapping up a three-day visit, shortly after Japanese PM Fumio Kishida left Kyiv.

Xi’s visit gave a strong political boost to Russian President Vladimir Putin just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on charges of alleged involvement in abductions of thousands of children from Ukraine.

After the talks, Putin and Xi issued joint declarations pledging to further bolster their “strategic cooperation,” develop cooperation in energy, high-tech industries and other spheres and expand the use of their currencies in mutual trade to reduce dependence on the West.

They said they would develop military cooperation and conduct more joint sea and air patrols, but there was no mention of Chinese weapon supplies to Russia, a prospect that the US and other Western allies feared.

Mr Kishida made a surprise visit on Tuesday to Kyiv, stealing some of the attention from Xi’s trip to Moscow.

Drone spotted in Sevastopol port

Reports on Telegram suggest a drone has been located near the port of Sevastopol, where Russia stories its Black Sea Fleet.

Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling. I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TomAWatling

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